CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* DXer … a list of UNANSWERED QUESTIONS raised by the documents produced by USAMRIID and FBI to date … cross-referenced to postings on this CASE CLOSED blog

Posted by DXer on November 21, 2010


If you have your own questions you’d like answered at the Nov 29 seminar,

please submit them to this blog.

I will do my best to deal with your issue in the session I am moderating.


see the entire seminar agenda at …


Questions related to the FBI’s assertion that Dr. Ivins

was the sole perpetrator of the 2001 anthrax attacks …

  1. The FBI removed the original of Lab Notebook 4010 and other notebooks from USAMRIID without leaving a copy.  Why won’t the FBI produce the relevant pages from the lab notebooks it took? …
  2. Why didn’t the DOJ credit the uncontradicted 302 interview statement that checking the health of the animals typically would take 2 hours and was a one person job? …
  3. Why didn’t US Attorney Taylor in explaining Ivins’ overtime in Fall 2001, including November and December,  not realize that  the 2-person rule that in 2002 precluded such overtime and that Ivins moreover was working overtime with his assistant for OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE? …
  4. Why did US Attorney and AP create the impression that the Federal Eagle stamp was uniquely sold in Ivins’ post office (near USAMRIID) when it in fact was sold throughout Maryland and Virginia? …
  5. Why didn’t the FBI disclose that the photocopy mentioned in the Amerithrax Summary could be excluded as the source of the Amerithrax letters? …
  6. Why did the FBI let USAMRIID General John Parker’s false claim that USAMRIID did not make dried powder stand when the FBI and the scientists overseeing the investigation knew its own expert had made dried powdered aerosol using Ames? …
  7. Who was the colleague with whom Dr. Heine says he did research regarding antifoam in creating aerosols? …
  8. Why did the FBI never disclose the email withheld for 2 years that shows Dr. Ivins knew that 5 ml of virulent Ames had been taken from Building 1412? …
  9. Will it take Congressional subpoena power to fill in the blanks in the email asking about weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing? …
  10. Given that the FBI estimates that up to 377 had access required elimination (allowing for some duplication who had access in both 1425 and 1412), why did US Taylor think and falsely claim that only 100 needed to be eliminated — only those with access at Building 1425? …
  11. When was the location of the flasks (initially there were two flasks) carefully whited out so as to change its location from Building 1412 to Building 1425? …
  12. Who was Dr. Ivins writing about the Ames missing from building 1412 and the autoclaving of samples there? …
  13. What happened to the other slant sent from Texas? …
  14. Ivins notes that the original researcher who obtained the slants from Texas came to work for the CIA. When did he start working for the CIA? …
  15. Who was Dr. Ivins corresponding with about Ames spores who was going to Arlington to speak to DARPA? …
  16. When did SRI first obtain virulent Ames and from whom? …
  17. Where was the research on the corona plasma discharge and sonicator on Ames spores supplied by Bruce Ivins conducted for DARPA? Anywhere else? Where were aerosol studies done using dried powder? …
  18. Didn’t the only expert interviewed by the FBI about the code in the letters for which documents were produced disagree with the FBI’s theory of code in the letters? …
  19. Prior to 9/11, when did USAMRIID’s John Ezzell, the FBI’s anthrax expert, who made a dried aerosol using Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins, send the dried spores to Johns-Hopkins Applied Physics he had made at the request of DARPA?  Did those spores show a silicon signature? …
  20. Why was the FBI asking everyone whether they had seen olive oil in one of the aerosol rooms. Was that indicated by the forensics? …
  21. Is olive oil what the bloodhounds smelled at Denny’s when the FBI assume they were tracking Steve Hatfill who had visited the day before? …
  22. Doesn’t the documentary evidence showing that the key 16 pages was not obtained by the FBI until February 2005 suggest that Amerithrax is the biggest FBI/CIA intelligence failure in the history of the United States? … … … …

Questions related to the NAS review of the FBI’s science …

  1. Why didn’t the NAS review  include a review of the documents from peer reviewed literature in Ayman Zawahiri’s possession rather than allow the former collection scientist from ATCC narrowly frame the questions around the USAMRIID scientist who tragically committed suicide? …
  2. Why didn’t the NAS review  include a technical review of the spraydrying documents on Al-Hawsawi’s laptop? …
  3. Why didn’t the NAS review include a technical review of Rauf Ahmad’s notes and handwritten letter (he was one of the scientists working for Ayman Zawahiri)? …
  4. Why didn’t the NAS review include a technical review of the later typed correspondence from a later visit by Rauf Ahmad indicating that he had successfully achieved the targets? …

Questions related to suspects other than Dr. Bruce Ivins …

  1. Ali Mohammed, the head of intelligence for Egyptian Islamic Jihad who had a document on his computer seized by the FBI that outlined principles of cell security that would be followed, trained Dahab, a Cairo medical drop-out, to make deadly letters.  Who does Ali think is responsible? …
  2. Dr. Bruce Ivins hosted one Egyptian visitor in the B3 who was the lifelong friend of a former Egyptian Islamic Jihad member, a schoolmate, recruited by Ayman Zawahiri.  Who does he think is responsible? …
  3. Dr. Bruce Ivins hosted one Egyptian visitor in the B3 who was the lifelong friend of a former Egyptian Islamic Jihad member, a schoolmate, recruited by Ayman Zawahiri.   Why did the FBI not obtain the relevant documents until February 2005? …
  4. This document seized in Afghanistan pointed to infiltration n of US biodefense.  To what was the author referring? …
  5. This Zawahiri correspondence with infiltrating scientist was part of parallel compartmentalized cell operation.  Who else did Ayman attempt to recruit (besides the schoolmate and close friend of Bruce Ivins’ co-worker)? …
  6. The documents dating from April 1999 show that Ayman Zawahiri’s plan was to recruit a specialist.  Who else did Ayman Zawahiri succeed in recruiting? …
  7. The lifelong friends of Dr. Tarek Hamouda, supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins, actively denounce their former medical school associate Ayman Zawahiri as a fanatic – one serving as President of CAIR-St. Louis and the other as author of INSIDE JIHAD. After the FBI first obtained in 2005 the documents relating to Dr. Hamouda’s work with Dr. ivins, did they contact Dr. Hamid who reports he was recruited into the Egyptian Islamic Group by Ayman Zawahiri while in medical school? Did they contact his brother who publicly announced that he could not identify a sleeper cell if he did not know about it? …
  8. Why did the FBI fail disclose that Jdey was detained and released as the same time as Moussaoui? …
  9. Ayman Zawahiri had an extensive recruiting network for his anthrax planning and the announcement of his plans in March 1999, including the blind sheik’s son who spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi and was on Al Qaeda’s 3-member WMD society.  Did the blind sheik’s son recruit Ali Al-Timimi? …
  10. Wasn’t the interpretation of the code the brainchild of the two scientists, Mara and Pat, who were thanked for technical assistance by the former Zawahiri associate supplied Ames by Bruce Ivins. …
  11. Shouldn’t the Intelligence Community have known that Ayman Zawahiri used “school” to refer to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad given that Ayman Zawahiri’s letter to his supporters (which was obtained by the CIA)? …
  12. Isn’t it Ayman Zawahiri who used “school” and not Bruce Ivins who used “school” as code and had reason to do so? …
  13. While US government focuses on Anwar Al-Aulaqi, why does it continue to overlook Aulaqi’s connection to fellow Falls Church imam, a scientist sharing the suite with the leading bioweapons Ames anthrax researchers with whom defense counsel says Aulaqi was coordinating? …
  14. Shouldn’t GAO subpoena the records relating to the connection between Ali Al-Timimi and the Ames researchers at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense?  That is where he had unfettered access to the largest microbiological repository in the world where the bacteriology collection scientist was the future head of the Amerithrax science investigation who would guide the NAS review and the production of documents from the FBI to NAS. …



The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline, science that proves innocence instead of guilt. So what really happened? And doesn’t the FBI offer America a credible story?

I can imagine only 3 possible “actual” scenarios …

  1. The FBI has more evidence against Dr. Ivins but is, for some undisclosed reason, withholding that evidence.
  2. The FBI, despite the most expensive and extensive investigation in its history, has not solved the case and has no idea who prepared and mailed the anthrax letters that killed 5 Americans in 2001.
  3. The FBI knows who did it (not Dr. Ivins) but is covering up the actual perpetrators, again for undisclosed reasons.

The “fictional” scenario in my novel CASE CLOSED has been judged by many readers, including a highly respected official in the U.S. Intelligence Community, as perhaps more plausible than the FBI’s unproven assertions.

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *

42 Responses to “* DXer … a list of UNANSWERED QUESTIONS raised by the documents produced by USAMRIID and FBI to date … cross-referenced to postings on this CASE CLOSED blog”

  1. DXer said

    The CIA WMD analyst gets an “F”. The Federal Eagle Stamp referred to the green birds of paradise that was to take the souls of the hijackers to heaven.

    Azzam Publications – for Jihad and Mujahideent

    The actual Arabic word used in the Hadith is not Qalb (heart) but it is Jowf which can mean any of interior, inside, heart (as in centre) .

  2. DXer said

    In the Stevens matter today, the government filed a MOTION for Summary Judgment Based on the Absence of Proximate Cause by United States.

    Responses due by 8/1/2011

    Attachments to the Summary Judgment motion are as follows:

    # 1 Exhibit U.S. Facts – Statement of Facts,

    # 2 Exhibit PC-1, Exhibit List,

    # 3 Exhibit PC-2, Emerging Infectious Diseases, “First Case of Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax in the United States, Palm Beach County, Florida, 2001”,

    # 4 Exhibit PC-3, Plfs.’ Resp. to RFA No. 5,

    # 5 Exhibit PC-4, USAMRIID FOIA Response Report, Excerpts,

    # 6 Exhibit PC-5, Dr. Eitzen Depo., Excerpts, # 7 Exhibit PC-6,

    Dr. Jahrling Depo., Excerpts,

    # 8 Exhibit PC-7, USAMRIID Information Paper (1-21-02),

    # 9 Exhibit PC-8, USAMRIID Information Paper (1-22-02),

    # 10 Exhibit PC-9, Dr. Byrne Depo., Excerpts,

    # 11 Exhibit PC-10, RMR-1029 Reference Material Receipt Record,

    # 12 Exhibit PC-11, National Academy of Sciences Report, Excerpts,

    # 13 Exhibit PC-12, Dr. Worsham Depo., Excerpts,

    # 14 Exhibit PC-13, Dr. Welkos Depo., Excerpts,

    # 15 Exhibit PC-14, Mr. Little Depo., Excerpts,

    # 16 Exhibit PC-15, Dr. Dietz Depo., Excerpts (Redacted),

    # 17 Exhibit PC-16, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, Serial Murder Report, Excerpts)(Dinnell, Adam) (Entered: 07/15/2011)

    The government simultaneously filed a MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction Complaint (Based on the FTCA’s Assault and Battery Exception), MOTION for Summary Judgment (Based on the FTCA’s Analogous Private Liability Requirement and a Corresponding Lack of Cause-in-Fact) by United States.

    Responses due by 8/1/2011

    Attachments include:

    Attachments: # 1 Exhibit SOF, Statement of Facts,

    # 2 Exhibit AB-1, Dr. Dietz Report, Excerpts*,

    # 3 Exhibit AB-2, RMR-1029 Reference Material Receipt Record,

    # 4 Exhibit AB-3, Pls.’ Resp. to First Set RFAs,

    # 5 Exhibit AB-4, Dr. Dietz Supp. Report, Excerpts*,

    # 6 Exhibit AB-5, Dr. Wade Report, Excerpts*,

    # 7 Exhibit AB-6, Pls.’ Verified Interrog. Ans, # 8 Exhibit AB-7, Dr. Eitzen Depo., Excerpts,

    # 9 Exhibit AB-8, Dr. Salerno Depo., Excerpts*,

    # 10 Exhibit AB-9, Report of the Defense Science Board, Excerpts,

    # 11 Exhibit AB-10, GAO Report: Biosafety Laboratories, Excerpts,

    # 12 Exhibit AB-11, NRC Report, 2009, Excerpts,

    # 13 Exhibit AB-12, NSABB Report, Excerpts,

    # 14 Exhibit AB-13, Dr. Dietz Depo., Excerpts*,

    # 15 Exhibit AB-14, USAM Documents,

    # 16 Exhibit AB-15, Amerithrax Investigative Summary, Excerpts,

    # 17 Exhibit AB-16, Dr. Friedlander Depo., Excerpts,

    # 18 Exhibit AB-17, Spradlin Article: Bacterial Abundance on Hands)(Dinnell, Adam) (Entered: 07/15/2011)

    Lew may still be in Paris and my graphic artist is also on vacation.

    But a lot of the substance should be up tomorrow morning one way or the other.

    Both have been absolutely invaluable in making content available on a timely basis.

  3. DXer said


    The 2001 Attack Anthrax: Key Questions, Potential Answers

    June 11, 2011

    Martin E. Hugh-Jones, et al.


    Ten years after the anthrax attacks, almost three years after the FBI accused a dead man of perpetrating the 2001 anthrax attacks singlehandedly, and more than a year since they closed the case without further investigation, indictment or trial, the FBI has produced no concrete evidence on key questions:

    ● Where and how were the anthrax spores in the attack letters prepared? The FBI has ignored the most likely laboratories, on the basis of unwarranted assumptions that the spores were made covertly, by the perpetrator(s) of the attack, and during the interval between 9/11 and the mailing of the letters.

    ● How and why did the spore powders acquire the extraordinarily high levels of Silicon and Tin found in them? The FBI has repeatedly insisted that the powders in the letters contained no additives, and that the Silicon in the powders was incorporated naturally during growth. But they also claim that they have not been able to reproduce the high Silicon content in the powders. They have not admitted to any attempt to determine the chemical form of the Silicon; and they have avoided mentioning the Tin content. We present a likely explanation for the elements and the properties of the spore preparations that have been observed.

    ● Where did the anthrax spores become contaminated by a rare strain of B. subtilis? The FBI has never located the source of the strain, but they never searched in the most likely places.

    Concerns about the validity of the FBI’s conclusions will persist until these questions are addressed. Further scientific investigation may be the only way to bring the facts of the case to light.


    • anonymous said

      The paragraph below is perhaps the most curious part of the entire Amerithrax investigation. One has to assume that dozens of meetings were held in 2002 with FBI scientists discussing the lab analysis results. It was known early in 2002 that the Leahy and New York Post powders contained extraordinarily high concentrations of silicon and tin – proof beyond doubt this was a forensic signature resulting from deliberate addition. And yet, in none of the FBI files released to NAS was it ever described what was said it these meetings and how this influenced reverse-engineering strategies. Presumably these meeting notes have to exist within the FBI – but for some reason they are being withheld. GAO should seek every Amerithrax file from the FBI that contains the words silicon and tin. GAO should also determine who was on the secret “red team” and why they suggested not exploring the rather obvious theory that a tin catalyzed silicone polymer was used as an additive.

      The NAS Report notes that “no studies have considered the effect of the chemical form of silicon (e.g., silicate impurity versus polydimethylsiloxane antifoam agent) on uptake.”# The NAS was not provided with all of the preparation procedures used;# the committee “sought, but could not obtain, a detailed explanation of the thought process that went into selection of the DPG [Dugway] methods…it was not clear to the committee how the subset of surrogate preparation methods was selected and whether these choices were based on an understanding informed by the investigation or on other assumptions about the approach taken to produce the evidentiary materials.”# In light of all the open questions, it is strange that a “red team,” convened at Quantico on March 13, 2007, recommended that the FBI pursue no further research on the Silicon in the letter powders.#

  4. DXer said

    In light of the stories like

    FBI Probes Unabomber Connection to Tylenol Murders

    let’s consider the evidence in the Unabom matter.

    A bomb exploded outside of a classroom in 1978, and was the first of the bombs thought to have been planted by Theodore Kaczynski aka The Unabomber. The bomb coincidentally exploded on the afternoon of the day before Kaczynski’s birthday. In considering the case against Ayman Zawahiri and co-conspirators, and the seeming nonexistent case against Dr. Bruce Ivins, consider the case against Theodore Kaczynski as it existed the Fall preceding the first day of trial. In the UNABOM matter, there was a plea agreement that avoided the prosecution going forward with what turned out to be massive and overwhelming evidence at least as to the UNABOM incidents actually charged. (There were detailed admissions by Kaczynski in his diary that sealed his fate, removing all doubt as to his guilt.)

    Inevitable Inaccuracies In Reported Leaks Inaccuracies inevitably arise in the reporting of news in connection with a rapidly developing story, particularly when anonymous sources are used. As Justice Department spokesman Carl Stern commented in the Unabom case: “There are times when we try informally to prevent something which is grossly untrue from being published or broadcast, but in this case I felt I couldn’t do even that.”

    A Copy Of The Manifesto Was Found In The Cabin

    The prosecution has explained before the Court:”In June 1995, Kaczynski sent his manuscript “Industrial Society and Its Future” to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Penthouse, and Professor Tom Tyler of the University of California at Berkeley. A copy of the manuscript was found in the cabin. That manuscript contains a lengthy description of Kaczynski’s philosophy and admits that its author ‘had to kill people’ to get it published.” Ayman Zawahiri’s Fall 2001 book is almost as revealing in terms of profiling the Amerithrax crimes but even those who have closely followed the matter for months have never read it. Ask any FBI agent you know on the investigation whether they have read it and see for yourself.

    Copies Of The Letters Kaczynski Sent To Publications Were Also Found

    The prosecution has explained before the Court:”Beginning in 1985, Kaczynski sent letters, using the alias, ‘FC,’ to various publications. A copy of each letter was discovered in Kaczynski’s cabin. Like the journals, Kaczynski’s letters also contain admissions to the charged and uncharged bombings; indeed, several letters contain an admission that encompasses both a charged and an uncharged bombing.” Here, anthrax production documents were found on Khalid Mohammed’s laptop, he made admissions about Yazid Sufaat’s role, and Zawahiri’s right-hand man as well as another shura council member made admissions about Zawahiri’s plan. Yet inexplicably no attention is paid to these stories because it is far easier to get some clerk, deputy sheriff or junior lawyer in the Department of Justice Public Affairs Office to share some gossip about some discarded junk pulled from the nearby park or some stained panties found in a cross-dresser’s garbage.

    Most Of The Letters And The Manifesto Were Typed on Kaczynski’s Typewriter

    According to the prosecution’s June 1997 memorandum, the third typewriter found in the cabin was a match with most of the letters, with the manifesto, and for all of the bombs that were mailed after 1981. Here, there seems little chance authorities will find the scotch tape that was used to seal both letters or the pen used to write the letters.

    Number Used To Identify Unabomber Communications

    The Washington Post reported that federal investigators say that the nine-digit number that was sometimes used by the Unabomber to authenticate his communications was found in Kaczynski’s cabin. (The book Mad Genius previously reported that the number used by the bomber was 553-25-4394). The number was used by the Unabomber in connection with a letter discussing the April 1995 murder of the Sacramento timber industry official Gilbert Murray, and a letter claiming responsibility for the December 1994 murder of the advertising executive Thomas Mosser at his New Jersey home. An analogous discovery would relate to the reason, if any, for the use of Greendale School. Zawahiri’s computer that showed he used “school” for Al Qaeda already is available to use in an indictment.

    DNA Evidence In the UNABOM matter

    DNA evidence was apparently obtained from saliva found on the stamp used to send a copy of the manuscript to professor Tom Tyler. An earlier press report had suggested that there was DNA evidence associated with the 1994 victim in New Jersey, Thomas Mosser (pronounced MOE-ser). As a general rule, however, the bomber was reportedly careful in avoiding such evidence based on hair or saliva. It is surprising that the bomber, after having been so careful to avoid DNA evidence for so many years, would suddenly have been careless in connection with the manuscript sent to Professor Tyler. The genetic evidence in the Amerithrax case relates to the strain of anthrax and will help narrow the number of possible labs where the strain was. The mailer was very careful in handling the envelope and would not have licked the envelope. The cutting edge science of water isotope ratios would be dramatic if the degree of confidence can be rise to a high level.

    The affidavit filed in support of the search warrant in the Kaczynski case explained that the DNA found in connection with the stamp used to mail the manuscript to Tom Tyler limited the pool of potentially responsible persons to 3% of the United States population — or approximately 6 million people. DNA evidence would not be determinative of the prosecution given they apparently cannot further narrow the field. The evidence relating to water isotope ratios (discussed above) similarly will not be determinative. The ratios are often the same for different locations. Moreover, the water isotope ratio may very well turn out to be exculpatory of any defendant charged.

    Bomb And Bomb-Related Materials.

    According to press reports, one completed bomb and one partially completed bomb had been found. The completed bomb had been described as similar to either the 1994 or 1995 bomb. The importance of this evidence would have depended — if the matter had gone to trial — on the strength of the forensic comparisons. Both the 1994 and 1995 bombs were sophisticated, and so if the reports by the anonymous federal officials proved to be accurate, then the finding would have been very significant. The government would have argued, through expert testimony, that the run-of-the-mill pipebomber could not have made the 1994 or 1995 bombs. (The serial bomber known as the UNABOMBER, which turned out to be Kacyznksi, was thought to have improved his bomb-making during the 1987-1993 hiatus). Here, a similar argument would be made as to the individual or individuals who could make the relatively sophisticated anthrax here. The sophistication greatly increased between the two mailings — marked by a difference of about 20 days.

    The significance of the particular chemicals found in Kaczynski’s cabin would have needed to await the reports on the forensic tests. The chemicals would be compared to the residue left in the UNABOM explosions. Agents searching the cabin found containers of potassium chlorate, sodium chlorate, sugar, zinc, aluminum, lead and silver oxide, which can serve as fuels or oxidizers in an explosive device. Here, comparison would be made with any silica powder or other additive found to be associated with the anthrax. Relatedly, there is the issue of the water isotope ratios.

    In the UNABOM matter, tools and hardware related to bomb-making were also found. Lab technicians have compared the toolmarks left on past bombs and bomb remnants with the tools found in Kaczynski’s cabin, and according to leaks the government were going to rely on an analysis of the tool marks in its case. The Affidavit filed in support of the search of the cabin explained that identical tool marks had been left on the staples used in a couple of the devices and in some of the correspondence. In addition, 10 three-ring binders full of meticulously drawn bomb diagrams may distinguish Kaczynski from ordinary pipebombers. The UNABOMBER is thought to have experimented with his bombs, and the prosecution likely would argue in any trial that the three- ring binders document those experiments. The notebooks have sketches of boxes that could conceal the devices; handwritten notes in English and Spanish describing how chemical compounds can create explosive charges; and logs of experiments to determine the optimal design for pipe bombs in various weather conditions. The notebooks would have been extremely powerful evidence, that may be even more powerful once comparison is made by experts between the specific entries and specific bombs used in the UNABOM incidents.

    Here, all the information about the anthrax production documents on Khalid Mohammed’s computer is classifed. As for Dr. Hatfill’s comments to acquaintances, they likely would not even be admissible, as no exception to the hearsay doctrine would seem to apply.

    Here, the plastic tub found in the Frederick park in connection with the Hatfill Theory did not pass the “giggle test” and neither does the FBI’s sorority theory as motivation.

    Witness Description.

    In 1987, a woman employed by CAAMS, a Salt Lake City computer store, noticed a man placing an object near a car. She apparently had a close, albeit brief, observation of the individual. She knocked on the window and motioned him away from the car. While distracted by a telephone call, another employee went out and kicked the material out of the way. The bomb was made to look like a road hazard and consisted of two boards with nails sticking up. Two main composites based on the witness’ description were drawn. One was done at the time, and one was done approximately 7 years later. The later composite has a squarer jaw. Some media reports published a version of the composite without glasses. The official composite relied upon by the Task Force has always included glasses. Extrapolating to a man pictured without glasses would be pretending to know something we don’t — did not represent a description of what the witness saw. In the Amerithrax investigation, if Hatfill were the defendant, the witness identification likely would not be admissible because witnesses were only shown Dr. Hatfill’s picture. No announcement was ever made as to whether the witness has positively identified Kaczynski as the individual she saw. The witness likely had difficulty in doing so given that Kaczynski then came to have a beard. It is unclear whether TK had a beard in 1987. He applied for a drivers license in Montana in 1986 and it may be important whether his photograph in connection with that license showed a beard. In addition, Kaczynski mother visited in the mid-1980s, and yet there has been no article reporting her recollection as to whether he had a beard.

    In the Amerithrax matter, the picture shown of Hatfill (and only Hatfill) to witnesses that some in New Jersey apparently was an older picture. In any event, a long time had passed between the time witnesses were shown his picture and any passing encounter with him if he had been the mailer. No one ever identified Dr. Ivins doing anything related to processing or mailing.

    In 1987, Kaczynski was significantly older than in the witness’ description. The individual was estimated by the witness to be between the age of 25 and 30 years old. At the time of the sighting, Kaczynski was 43 years old. The witness described the individual as young and athletic. Witness descriptions are one of the weakest forms of evidence. Moreover, Kaczynski was likely unkempt in his appearance — as generally reported — while the witness apparently described someone with a well-trimmed mustache. Finally, at 5′ 9″, Kaczynski was 1″-3″ shorter than the man described by the witness. Thus, given the importance of the forensic evidence, it is not likely that the witness description would have been particularly significant in any trial of the UNABOM matter, as it raised too many questions. The defense likely would have been able to present other suspects that were much closer to the witness’ description. Importantly, in the affidavit filed in support of the search, the government did not claim that the witness could positively identify Kaczynski.

    A blue hooded sweatshirt and a green sweatshirt were found in Kaczynski’s cabin. Although much ado has been made of the discovery of the sweatshirt, and papers featured headlines of the discovery throughout the country, none of the press accounts have addressed the color of the sweatshirt described by the witness in 1987. None of the articles mentioned that the sweatshirt described by the witness was white (or light gray). One report by a television network indicated that Kaczynski had broken his nose several times. The suggestion apparently was that he broke his nose to disguise his appearance. It is unclear how the television network, in early April, had determined Kaczynski’s intent, and there has been no further mention of the report.

    Materials On Which Names Of Some Victims Appear

    The names of the some victims allegedly appears on some written material. The reports are both conflicting or unclear on the nature of the materials, but the majority of reports indicate that the names of the actual victims were not in handwriting. The significance of this evidence would depend on the specifics. There were a variety of reports of individuals who have been contacted by FBI agents and told that their names were on materials found in the cabin. One widely reported story that was mistaken was that there was a handwritten list of faculty in the math department. The list had been written by an FBI agent for the purposes of contacting the individuals, and was not found in the cabin. Some reports also indicate that a handwritten sheet was found saying “hit list” — airlines, geneticists, and computers. (This likely prove to be one of the “grossly inaccurate” items mentioned by the DOJ spokesman.) Certainly, if this report had been true, it would have been very dramatic evidence.

    Partial Fingerprint

    A partial fingerprint was obtained from one of the devices. It did not match with Kaczynski’s, according to the affidavit filed at the time of the search. The authorities had no way of knowing whether the partial fingerprint is that of the bomber, or someone else. Thus, the prosecution likely would have discounted the failure to match as due to the fact that the print was made by someone other than the bomber. In the Amerithrax investigation, there were no fingerprints found. Of course, if fingerprints had been found on any material found in the pond, that would have been very significant.

    Kaczynski’s Whereabouts

    Kaczynski had lived primarily in Montana since 1971. He traveled to other areas by bus — and not by airplane as initially reported. He moved to Chicago for a short while in the late Spring of 1978 until the Summer of 1979. He applied for an Illinois driver’s license in July 1978 — six weeks after the first explosion. According to one report, he returned to Montana in the Summer of 1979. Thus, the FBI was trying to establish that he returned to Chicago in connection with the mailing of a November 1979 and a May 1980 bomb. The brother and mother were uncertain on the details. According to the affidavit filed in support of the search, the brother had said that Kaczynski came to Chicago as early as 30 days before June 20. In addition, the affidavit states that although Kaczynski left Chicago in the Summer of 1979, he apparently returned after a two month stay in Saskatchewan. Thus, according to the affidavit, the statements by the family members are not inconsistent with his presence in Chicago on May 25, 1978 or November 14, 1979. With respect to the May 1980 mailing to Percy Wood from the Chicago area, the Affidavit notes the dates of hotel stays in Park Hotel, Helena, Montana, that would have allowed an opportunity for Kaczynski to travel to Chicago to make the mailing to Mr. Wood. The Affidavit similarly noted stays at the Park Hotel generally consistent with travel to Utah at the time of the placement and mailing of bombs.

    With respect to his travels to California, the potentially most significant lead was totally false. It concerned a report by a Sacramento hotel owner that he had stayed there — the clerk in fact had not worked there at the time. Absent corroborating hotel registration records, such testimony would not have been significant. For example, reports by a Burger King manager and a guard at a bus terminal in Sacramento would have been met by the incredulous question by defense counsel: you specifically remember this guy over all the other hundreds of bearded unkempt men that you see each year?

    In the Amerithrax case, Dr. Hatfill has offered timesheets that, for example, on September 17, 2001 and September 18, 2001 have him working 13 hour days. Kaczynski similarly had offered a bank deposit slip that the government, through an investigator, was able to explain was not in conflict, with the date of the weekend deposit not registered as processed until the next Monday.Packages were placed in Salt Lake City in October 1981 and February 1987, and mailed from Salt Lake in May 1982 and November 1985. The FBI checked homeless shelters and inexpensive hotels looking for evidence that Kaczynski visited the area. In the Amerithrax case, authorities apparently have no evidence that Dr. Hatfill travelled to the Trenton or Princeton area on the dates of mailing. Dr. Hatfill claims that he has never been to Princeton and would not know where it was on a map. Similarly, Dr. Ivins, in fact, has an alibi established by the withheld evidence and there is no evidence of travel whatsoever.

    Psycholinguistic Analysis

    The affidavit filed in support of the search has a detailed and compelling description of comparisons between a 1971 essay written by Kaczynski and the manifesto. In requesting a warrant to conduct a search of the cabin, the FBI relied on an examination by its own experts who had access to all of TK’s writings in the family’s possession (including 100 letters), and not by the analysis done by experts retained by the family who relied on only a handful of pages provided by the family’s private investigator. The Affidavit filed in support of the search of the cabin illustrates that the content, context and writing style of Theodore Kaczynski’s 6,374, 23-page essay and the 35,000 word UNABOM manuscript are very similar. Unfortunately, although the FBI has the 23-page essay and many pages of letters written by Kaczynski to his mother and brother, it appeared unlikely that authorities would be able to locate more than a couple of the 50 or so letters that TK wrote to a Mexican man. In the government Affidavit also notes the same uncommon (and in the last case inaccurate) spellings of words : “analyse” versus “analyze”, “wilfully” instead of “willfully”, “licence” instead of “license” and “instalment” rather than “installment”.

    In the Amerithrax case, although Don Foster cuts a fine figure on BBC jogging and thinking determinedly, psycholinguistic analysis of the 20-30 words in the letters was never likely to be probative. There is a sweet woman on the internet, a true crime fan, still mad at Dr. Foster for persistently arguing that she was actually the Ramsey son, Burke, following the true crime matter and called him to ask that he stop.

    Profiling It is unlikely that profiling will be a particularly significant portion of any prosecution against Kaczynski. Kaczynski fits the profile relied upon by the Task Force in many (if not most) respects — but he differs from the profile in several important respects. His loose fit with the profile, however, would have served to support an argument, along with other evidence, that there was probable cause to search the cabin. Kaczynski was not among the top 200 suspects primarily because of his age. He was 13 years older than the age in the profile being relied upon by the Task Force. At the time of the first bomb in May 1978, he was 36. Significantly, although he may have a meticulous mind, he was very unkempt in appearance. It was thought that the serial bomber would be very neat.A detailed description of the profile being used by the Task Force in 1991 is reported in UNABOM: The University/Airline Bomber, The Police Chief, at 36-37 (October 1991). The authors were James C. Ronay, who was Chief Explosives Unit, FBI Laboratory, and Richard A. Strobel, Chief, ATF Laboratory. That profile was then substantially revised based on the writings of the bomber. The most important change was that estimates of the bomber’s intelligence were greatly increased. With the benefit of hindsight, the profilers should have realized that the bomber would walk the walk. His disdain for technology would be evidenced by a residence with no electricity — and with a nearby garden permitting him to be self-sufficient.

    Telephone Records

    The FBI no doubt checked the pay telephones that Kaczynski is thought to have used. The UNABOMBER called Bob Guccione of Penthouse magazine. If a telephone call was made from one of the payphones used by Kaczynski on the date and time the call by the bomber was placed, that would have been highly probative evidence. A jury would have found such evidence easy to understand. The FBI may have checked weblogs in the Amerithrax case, for example, to determine where the mailer obtained the nine-digit zipcodes or the address for the AMI publications.

    Books Found In The Cabin

    There were 239 books found in the cabin. Several books are of special interest in this matter. For example, VIOLENCE IN AMERICA was reportedly in his collection. Written in the 1960’s, it is a collection of dry, academically oriented articles. The book was one of the half dozen or so cited by the UNABOMBER in his manifesto. Kaczynski had evidenced awareness of the Commission’s work in a letter years ago to his family.

    Finally, although not found in the cabin, another book cited in the manifesto, ANCIENT ENGINEERS, was allegedly borrowed from a local library by Kaczynski. According to the affidavit filed in support of the search, Ted Kaczynski had cited the book in a letter to his brother. Although certainly not popular or widely-read books, none of the books are rare. All three books are commonly found in libraries. Yet, the evidence would have been very powerful before a jury.

    In the Amerithrax investigation, the book of the hour is “Emergence,” a partially completed novel by Dr. Hatfill and a co-author. Reasonable people can disagree on whether the unpublished novel “Emergence” would play a role here if a prosecution were brought against Dr. Hatfill. Under an Ivins Theory, the prosecutors seemed excited that Dr. Ivins had written some cute poems and liked one book that included a code. The only expert consulted and the author of the book find the FBI’s theory untenable.

    Additional Circumstantial Evidence

    There is a variety of additional circumstantial evidence that the prosecution could have relied on. For example, the prosecution could argue that Kaczynski, despite his poverty, had the necessary resources as a result of small contributions from his family. Kaczynski reportedly received a $1,000 money order from his brother shortly before the December 1994 bombing of Mr. Mosser, and another $2,000 money order from his brother before the April 1995 bombing of Gilbert Murray. Much of the circumstantial evidence, however, being reported by the press is so tenuous that it may not be legally relevant evidence at all. Moreover, many of the reports — such as the report by a Sacramento hotel owner that TK stayed at the hotel or the alleged existence of a handwritten list of Berkeley math faculty — were apparently mistaken. One misguided report suggested a connection between the bombing in early May 1978 and an unsuccessful and brief dating relationship. He went on a couple of dates with the woman in the Summer of 1978 — after the first bombing. Other reports about Kaczynski, while apparently true, are not particularly probative. For example, it was not surprising that as a bright high school student, he liked model rockets and knew how to mix chemicals (such as iodine and ammonia) so that they would go “pop.” We may all know bright high school students who were good in chemistry and had similar interests. In any event, these incidents related to a time period 20 years before the first UNABOM incident in May 1978. (In 1958, during Kaczynski’s senior year, a cow bell was used to signal the end of class periods.)

    That pretty much describes all the “circumstantial evidence” alleged to exist against Dr. Hatfill or Dr. IvinsThe mistakes in the understanding of the circumstances of Dr. Hatfill’s life have been detailed elsewhere. Here, much of the imagined “circumstantial evidence” against Dr. Hatfill relates to irrelevant matters nearly a quarter century ago and would simply have no bearing on an attempted criminal prosecution. Neither do the irrelevant matters relating to Dr. Ivins that involves things a quarter century earlier — such as his theft of a book from sororities.


    In the anthrax mailings, Dr. Zawahiri appears to have accomplished the attack on the US “structure” he intended. With the planes, Al Qaeda struck the US trade dominance (World Trade Center) and its military might (Pentagon). With the anthrax he appears to have rounded out the field that he imagines provides support to Israel — the legislative branch and media. Analogous letter bombs were sent in connection with the earlier attack on the World Trade Center and the imprisonment of the militant islamists responsible for that attack and a related plot. Thus, relying on the postal service to send its deadly missives in connection with an earlier attack of the World Trade Center is not only Al Qaeda’s modus operandi, it is its signature.

    Everyone approaches a problem from their world view and what they know. Biological weapons control activists see a US biodefense insider. Anti-semites see Zionist perpetrators. US-haters see a CIA conspiracy. The CIA’s Zawahiri Task Force sees an Al Qaeda conspiracy (at least they do if they are smart). Israeli intelligence and the Iraqi National Congress lobbied for Iraq as the culprit. Liberal Beltway insiders saw right-wing wackos. Career-minded bureaucrats tend to see whoever those in power want them to focus on — and here the lead prosecutor was the father of the woman who came to represent “anthrax weapons suspect” Ali Al-Timimi pro bono. Journalists kowtow to the views of any government source in the investigation they deem reliable.

    Sometimes if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

    Information relating to the resolution of the Amerithrax matter likely will come from Pakistan, not the suburbs of Maryland or Central New Jersey. It likely will stem from those with a personal knowledge of Al Qaeda, and not those with an ideological or political axe to grind, whether against Iraq or the US biodefense establishment. The mailer likely will be someone personally recruited by Ayman Zawahiri. The FBI needs to do all they can to keep those agents in Pakistan supplied with Marlboros. (Ayman, that’s code for cowboys).

    At home, we need to be good boy and girl scouts and be prepared — even while growing fatigued by the countless false alarms and growing nostalgic for anthrax, in a sense, in light of the more easily demonstrated threat of SARS.

    But y’all come back, now. Because as newspaperman Scripps once said: “The only important date on the calendar is tomorrow.”

  5. DXer said

    re dried aerosol project at USAMRIID

    “____________indicated that some preliminary work may have been done with the Bg from Dugway.”

    Source 270A-WF-222936- USAMRIID.

  6. DXer said

    “Regarding the Federal Grand Jury subpoena requiring the submission of all samples of Ba Ames to the FBI in the spring of _____________________ a discussion as to which samples needed to be submitted. The discussions centered on the definition of the language in the subpoena for the terms stock and “working stock.” _______ indicated that the sample _______ had would fall under a “working stock” and therefore it would not need to be submitted to the FBI because the stock from which it came would have been submitted by IVINS.

    _______ recalled first hearing that small amounts of dried Ba were either made or kept at USAMRIID during a meeting after the anthrax mailings occurred. ______ explained these spores were used __________. [Other sources indicate that these spores were irradiated prior to being dried. Upon hearing this _____________________________ at the time, became very upset.”


    _______ expressed concern that if it is shown that the perpetrator of the anthrax mailings was a USAMRIID employees or the Ba spores used in the mailings came from USAMRIID that it would destroy the institute and that the new USAMRIID building would be “down the tubes.”

    ______ was presented with a non-disclosure agreement which ___ signed.”

    279A-WF-222936, on 1/3/2007

  7. DXer said

    Expert slams belief that bioweapons hard to obtain
    by Jeffrey Bigongiari on March 10, 2011

  8. DXer said

    “B. anthracis (BA) Ames isolates have been identified at sixteen (16) laboratories to date. Those laboratories have a total of 561 Ames isolates. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) possesses 449 of those isolates.”

    Those 449/561 isolates were kept in unlocked refrigerators at USAMRIID. So why does Jacques Ravel think the genetic analysis it is such a big hoohaw in terms of usefulness to the investigation — given that even Flask 1029, in addition to being available to everyone in Building 1412 and Building 1425 — was distributed to other labs? In terms of generating a “lead,” that’s nonsense — the records of scientists in BL-3 should have been the first thing scrutinized. See Meryl Nass’ recommendation in 2002. Here, years later — years after the best evidence was available about how people spent their time in September and October — Rachel Lieber and Kenneth Kohl were able to spin time autoclaving dead animals into time to make a powderized anthrax. For example, an entire Apple computer kept in the lab went missing due to the delay. Given that 448/561 isolates were at USAMRIID, the hard drives of the computers in the BL-3 should have been cloned and preserved in 2001.

    • DXer said

      The media analysis of this issue of “narrowed to a single flask” is incredibly superficial and misleading given that everyone in both buildings had access to the same unlocked refrigerators.

      Keep in mind the same media that brought us Charlie Sheen is doing the investigation (not) and reporting of Amerithrax.

  9. DXer said

    Amerithrax represents the greatest failure of intelligence in the history of United States.


    But even when you head the wrong way down a one way highway, the thing to do always is pull over — and reverse course once there is a designated driver. Particularly if GAO shows special attention to what documents to be sure to obtain, the correct course can be set. To start, all the Lab Notebooks bearing on Dr. Ivins activities in September and October need to obtained and a timeline created. (They were all subpoenaed in connection with the 2007 grand jury). This is well within the mandate to review the science. Relatedly, given the US Attorney has claimed Dr. Ivins had enough to time to make the powder, the emails that AUSAs Ken and Rachel are withholding from September 17, 2001 need to be obtained. Greg West then should be asked to provide all documents in his possession also.

    Federal prosecutor charged with DWI

    Troopers stop Syracuse official driving wrong way on Interstate 81

    By JAMES M. ODATO Capitol Bureau

    Updated 10:24 p.m., Friday, March 4, 2011

  10. DXer said

    FBI and Justice Department Response to NAS Review of Scientific Approaches Used During the Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters


    100+ graphics –

  11. DXer said

    Senators question intelligence agencies’ anticipation of Egypt uprising

    By Greg Miller

    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, February 3, 2011; 10:18 PM
    Senior U.S. lawmakers questioned Thursday whether the CIA and other spy agencies failed to give President Obama adequate warning of the unfolding crisis in Egypt, using a Senate hearing to accuse American intelligence services of being slow to grasp a revolution that took root on the Internet.


    Why is it that politicians always seem to come into the room after they hear the glass of milk fall — why don’t they move the glass of milk back from the edge of the table?

    Is it because it is easier to backseat drive with the benefit of hindsight?

    I think our law enforcement and intelligence agencies need constructive and supportive leadership from Congress — not to have morale undermined. (Employeees of law enforcement and intelligence agencies are very sensitive to this given that their successes routinely have to go unsung).

    Politicians need to devote their energies to charting the best course moving forward.

    An unduly critical approach causes people like Jennifer A.L. Smith not want to come forward with observations lest she undermine the FBI. A former FBI Special Agent, she then became the chief WMD analyst.

    Jennifer is in a position to explain how it could possibly be that the 16 pages about the visit from the former Zawahiri associate to Bruce Ivins to work with virulent Ames were not faxed until February 2005 — and how a misspelling of his name on the paper log from May 2005 could have delayed assessing the information. It was within her job description to run down every name on every BL-3 log.

    Four years after-the-fact, much of the critical evidence is lost.

  12. DXer said

    The report concluded that both the Defense Department and the FBI had sufficient information to detect that Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been radicalized to violent extremism, but they failed to understand and act on it. It said the FBI’s top leaders must exercise more control over local field offices and put to better use the intelligence analysts who should have been able to connect the dots.

  13. DXer said

    There is a new communique from Ayman Zawahiri’s deputy about toppling Mubarak.

    By way of background, detained Egyptian Islamic Jihad military commander, Mabruk, in Spring 1999 said that Ayman was going to use anthrax to retaliate against rendering of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad leaders.

    One leader detained then came to be a Canadian named Jaballah. Another was an Mahjoub. Both were detained in Canada.

    In January 2001, upon announcement of Mahmoud’s bail hearing, an EIJ cell threatened to use anthrax if bail was not granted.

    His bail was denied on October 5, 2001 and the mailer immediately rushed to send anthrax to the Senators deemed symbolically most closely associated with the billions in appropriations to the Mubarak regime and Israel.

    The CIA knew all this in December 2001 and so the snipe hunt began. It was dubbed Amerithrax and complicated by many, varied conflicts of interest.

    Jaballah’s brother-in-law was Shehata.

    Shehata was in charge of the Civilian Branch or was it Special Operations — or both. (The group’s silly titles and bureaucracy reminds of the buffoons and posers associated with Rockwell’s American Nazi Party in Arlington, VA when people would be disciplined for falling asleep at their post (i.e., printing machine).)

    Shehata kept his brother-in-law Jaballah, who worked as a janitor, in touch with the EIJ military commander, Mabruk. Mabruk was moving around. Jaballah the janitor told Mabruk that he had recruited two Muslim Brotherhood members for an operation. Jaballah said they had been tested and proved reliable. See Canadian court opinion.

    Shehata, who is Ayman’s deputy and Jaballah’s brother-in-law, has now issued a communique about toppling Mubarak.

    I wrote Al-Sibai, who posted the communique on his London website, to ask him about Amerithrax. I hadn’t realized he, according to a Wikileaks memo, is deemed to be #5 in the EIJ. (I just knew he had been EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest spokesman). Most of the EIJ movers and shakers, by the way, are lawyers, doctors and engineers.

    I think somewhere people got seriously off the track when they started to heed the advice of those arguing that it was moral to kill innocents etc. They should revisit their values and reject the ends-justify-means reasoning of Anwar Aulaqi. What is the point of being religious if it doesn’t make you a more moral person?

    The Middle East Crisis Part XIV: Al-Zawahiri’s Deputy Encourages Egyptians to Stand Fast and Topple Mubarak

    In the Al-Qaeda leadership’s first public response to the events in Egypt, Thirwat Salah Shehatah, one of Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s deputies in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) group and a senior Al-Qaeda commander, issued a communiqué calling on Egyptians to stand fast and topple the Egyptian regime. The communiqué was posted on the website of the Al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies, which is run by Hani Al-Siba’i, an Egyptian Islamist living in London, as well as on other jihadi websites. According to the Al-Maqreze website administrators, the communiqué was received by email, following years during which the center had had no contact with Shehatah. Shehatah’s whereabouts are unknown, they said, but they presume that he is in Afghanistan or in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

    Shehatah, 51 and a lawyer by profession, was a member of the EIJ’s Shura Council. He was jailed several times by Egyptian authorities, and sentenced to death for his involvement in plots against the regime.

    • DXer said

      Egyptian Islamic Jihad call for end to the “Pharaoh”

      • DXer said

        “Leahy Law” and Appropriations to Military and Security Units

        After the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Cairo attorney Montasser al-Zayat first met blind sheik Abdel-Rahman after Montasser had been tortured for 12 hours. He was near a mental breakdown. Abdel-Rahman came over to where he was huddled in a corner of a cell, bent over and whispered: “Rely on God; don’t be defeated.” Mohammed had spoken the words in the Koran. Al- Zayat would become one of Sheik Omar’s most trusted legal advisers and a lawyer on the defense team of El Sayyid Nosair. Nosair was the Egyptian who was Abdel-Rahman’s bodyguard and was tried in New York in 1990 for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane. In March 1999, attorney al-Zayat was representing defendants in a massive prosecution of jihadists in Cairo. He told the press that Ayman Zawahiri would use weaponized anthrax against US targets because of the continued extradition pressure and torture faced by Egyptian Islamic Jihad members. Two senior EIJ leaders then on trial were saying the same thing to the press and in confessions.

        The founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad Kamal Habib (who wrote for the quarterly magazine of the US charity Islamic Assembly of North America) told scholar Fawaz Gerges:

        “The prison years also radicalized al-shabab [young men] and set them on another violent journey. The torture left deep physical and psychological scars on jihadists and fueled their thirst for vengeance. Look at my hands — still spotted with the scars from cigarette burns nineteen years later. For days on end we were brutalized — our faces bloodied, our bodies broken with electrical shocks and other devices. The torturers aimed at breaking our souls and brainwashing us. They wanted to humiliate us and force us to betray the closest members of our cells.

        I spent sleepless nights listening to the screams of young men echoing from torture chambers. A degrading, dehumanizing experience. I cannot convey to you the rage felt by al-shabab who were tortured after Sadat’s assassination.” When Kamal Habib wrote for the jihad-supporting Assirat, Al-Timimi was on the Board of Advisers.

        In a videotape that circulated in the summer of 2001, Zawahiri said “In Egypt they put a lot of people in jails — some sentenced to be hanged. And in the Egyptian jails, there is a lot of killing and torture. All this happens under the supervision of America. America has a CIA station as well as an FBI office and a huge embassy in Egypt, and it closely follows what happens in that country. Therefore, America is responsible for everything that happens.”

        An August 29, 2001 opinion column on Islamway, the second most read site for english speaking muslims, illustrates that the role of “Leahy Law” was known by educated islamists:
        “There is an intolerable contradiction between America’s professed policy of opposition to state-sponsored terrorism, exemplified by the Leahy Law, and the U.S. Congress’ continuing sponsorship of Israeli violence against Palestinians.” The article cited “References: CIFP 2001. “Limitations on Assistance to Security Forces: ‘The Leahy Law’” 4/9/01 (Washington, DC: Center for International Foreign Policy) Center for International Foreign Policy Accessed 8/28/01.Hocksteader, Lee 2001.

        The next day, in the same publication, there was an article describing the 21-page document released in Ottawa on August 29, 2001, in which the CSIS claimed that Canadian detainee Jaballah had contacts with the Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Shehata and sought to deport Jaballah. Shehata was in charge of EIJ’s Civilian Branch and in charge of “special operations.” It would be seven more years — not until February 2008 — before the Canadian government for the first time revealed that after coming to Canada in 1996, Jaballah would contact Ayman Zawahiri regularly on Ayman’s Inmarsat satellite phone.

        “They [Senators Daschle and Leahy] represent something to him,” says James Fitzgerald of the FBI Academy’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. “Whatever agenda he’s operating under, these people meant something to him.”

        To more fully appreciate why Leahy — a human rights advocate and liberal democrat — might have been targeted as a symbol, it is important to know that Senator Leahy has been the head of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, the panel in charge of aid to Egypt and Israel. In addition to the Senate majority leader, anthrax was mailed to the position symbolic of the 50 billion in appropriations that has been given to Israel since 1947 (and the equally substantial $2 billion annually in aid that has been keeping Mubarak in power in Egypt and the militant islamists out of power).

        Within a couple weeks after September 11, a report in the Washington Post and then throughout the muslim world explained that the President sought a waiver that would allow military assistance to once-shunned nations. The militant islamists who had already been reeling from the extradition of 70 “brothers”, would now be facing much more of the same. President Bush asked Congress for authority to waive all existing restrictions on U.S. military assistance and exports for the next five years to any country where the aid would help the fight against international terrorism. The waiver would include those nations who were currently unable to receive U.S. military aid because of their sponsorship of terrorism (such as Syria and Iran) or because of their nuclear weapons programs (such as Pakistan).

        The options being considered in response to the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington included potential cooperation with virtually every Middle Eastern and South and Central Asian nation near Afghanistan. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” would be the only test for foreign aid. The “Leahy Law” plays a key role in the secret “rendering” of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Al Qaeda) operatives to countries like Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Algeria where they are allegedly tortured. Richard Clarke, counterterrorism czar during the Clinton Administration, has quoted former Vice-President Gore saying: “Of course it’s a violation of international law, that’s why it’s a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.” Although humanitarian in its intent, the Leahy Law permits continued appropriations to military and security units who conduct torture in the event of “extraordinary circumstances.”

        In an interview broadcast on al-Jazeera television on October 7, 2001 (October 6 in the US) — about when the second letter saying “Death to America’” and “Death to Israel” was mailed — Ayman Zawahiri echoed a familiar refrain sounded by Bin Laden: “O people of the U.S., can you ask yourselves a question: Why all this enmity for the United States and Israel? *** Your government supports the corrupt governments in our countries.”

        A month after 9/11, late at night, a charter flight from Cairo touched down at the Baku airport. An Egyptian, arrested by the Azerbaijan authorities on suspicions of having played a part in the September 11 attack, was brought on board. His name was kept secret. That same night the plane set off in the opposite direction. Much of the Amerithrax story has happened at night with no witnesses, with the rendering of University of Karachi microbiology student Saeed Mohammed merely one example. At the time Ayman Zawahiri was getting his biological weapons program in full swing, his own brother Mohammed was picked up in the United Arab Emirates. He was secretly rendered to Egyptian security forces and sentenced to death rendered in the 1999 Albanian returnees case.

        Throughout 2001, the Egyptian islamists were wracked by extraditions and renditions. CIA Director Tenet once publicly testified that there had been 70 renditions prior to 9/11. At the same time a Canadian judge was finding that Mahmoud Mahjoub was a member of the Vanguards of Conquest and would be denied bail, Bosnian authorities announced on October 6, 2001 they had handed over three Egyptians to Cairo who had been arrested in July. In Uruguay, a court authorized the extradition to Egypt of a man wanted in Egypt for his alleged role in the 1997 Luxor attack. Ahmed Agiza, the leader of the Vanguards of Conquest (which can be viewed as an offshoot of Jihad), was handed over by Sweden in December 2001.

        One islamist, a Hamas supporter, summarized why the anthrax was sent in an ode “To Anthrax” on November 1, 2001: “O, anthrax, despite, your wretchedness, you have sewn horror in the heart of the lady of arrogance, of tyranny, of boastfulness!”

        The appropriations go to the core of Al Qaeda’s complaint against the United States. (The portion going to Egypt and Israel constituted, by far, the largest portion of US foreign aid, and most of that is for military and security purposes.) Pakistan is a grudging ally in the “war against terrorism” largely due to the US Aid it now receives in exchange for that cooperation. The press in Pakistan newspapers regularly reported on protests arguing that FBI’s reported 12 agents in Pakistan in 2002 were an affront to its sovereignty. There was a tall man, an Urdu-speaking man, and a woman — all chain-smokers — who along with their colleagues were doing very important work in an unsupportive, even hostile, environment. The US agents — whether CIA or FBI or US Army — caused quite a stir in Pakistan along with the Pakistani security and intelligence officials who accompanied them. In mid-March 2003, Washington waived sanctions imposed in 1999 paving the way for release in economic aid to Pakistan. Billions more would be sent to Egypt, Israel and other countries involved in the “war against terrorism.”

        The commentators who suggest that Al Qaeda would have had no motivation to send aerosolized anthrax to Senators Daschle and Leahy as symbolic targets — because they are liberal — are mistaken. The main goal of Dr. Zawahiri is to topple President Mubarak. He views the US aid as the chief obstacle and is indifferent to this country’s labels of conservative and liberal.

        Zawahiri likely was surprised that the plainly worded message of the letters accompanying the anthrax was not deemed clear. Perhaps the talking heads would not have been so quick to infer an opposite meaning if no message had been expressed using words at all. Perhaps the if the sender had relied only on what KSM describes as the language of war — the death delivered by the letters — the pundits would not have been so misdirected. But why was Al Qaeda evasive on the question of responsibility for the anthrax mailings, dismissing the issue with a snicker, and claiming that Al Qaeda did not know anything about anthrax? Simple. Bin Laden denied responsibility for 9/11 until it was beyond reasonable dispute. On September 16, 2001, he said: “The US is pointing the finger at me but I categorically state that I have not done this. I am residing in Afghanistan. I have taken an oath of allegiance (to Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar) which does not allow me to do such things from Afghanistan.” Before that, Ayman had denied the 1998 embassy bombings too. On August 20, 1998, coincidentally on the day of strikes on camps in Afghanistan and Sudan, Ayman al-Zawahiri contacted The News, a Pakistani English-language daily, and said on behalf of Bin Laden that “Bin Laden calls on Moslem Ummah to continue Jihad against Jews and Americans to liberate their holy places. In the meanwhile, he denies any involvement in the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings.” To Ayman, “war is deception.”

        The targeted Senators have another connection pertinent to the Egyptian militants. The United States and other countries exchange evidence for counterterrorism cases under the legal framework of a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (”MLAT”). Egypt is signatory of such a treaty that was ratified by the United States Senate in late 2000. For example, when the Fall 2001 rendition of Vanguards of Conquest leader Agizah was criticized, the US explained that it was relying on the MLAT. In the prosecution of Post Office worker Ahmed Abdel Sattar, Sattar’s attorney Michael Tigar, at trial in December 2004 explained: “Now, that might be classified, it’s true, but we have now found out and our research has just revealed that on, that the State Department has reported that it intends to use and relies on the mutual legal assistance treaty between the United States and Egypt signed May 3, 1998, in Cairo, and finally ratified by the United States Senate on October 18th, 2000. The State Department issued a press report about this treaty on November 29th, 2001 and I have a copy here.” He explained that “Article IV of the treaty provides that requests under the treaty can be made orally as well as under the formal written procedures required by the treaty, that those requests can include requests for testimony, documents, and even for the transfer to the United States if the treaty conditions are met.

        Vanguards of Conquest spokesman Al-Sirri was a co-defendant in the case against post office worker Sattar. In the late 1990s Sattar and he often spoke in conversations intercepted by the FBI. Al-Sirri’s fellow EIJ cell members in London were subject to process under those treaties at the time of the anthrax mailings. Those London cell members had faxed the claim of responsibility which stated the motive for the 1998 embassy bombings. A group calling itself the “Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places” took credit for the bombings listing as among their demands “the release of the Muslims detained in the United State[s] first and foremost Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (the spiritual guide of the Gama’a Islamiya) who is jailed in the United States.” As reason for the bombings, in addition to the rendition recent EIJ members to Cairo and the detention of Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman, the faxes pointed to the detention of dissident Saudi Sheik al-Hawali . Al-Hawali was the mentor of GMU microbiology student Al-Timimi who spoke in London in August 2001 alongside 911 Imam Awlaki (also from Falls Church) and unindicted WTC 1993 conspirator Bilal Philips. Al-Timimi was in contact with Saudi sheik Al-Hawali in 2002 and arranged to hand deliver a message to all members of Congress he had drafted in al-Hawali’s name on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailings to Senator Leahy and Daschle.

    • DXer said

      Significance of Mailing Dates : Camp David Accord and Sadat’s Assassination

      The FBI Counterterrorism Division sent out a warning to law enforcement in August 2001 that Al Qaeda or related groups might attack on an anniversary date:




      Anthrax was sent on the date of the Camp David Accord and the related Sadat assassination (Armed Forces Day). Expert Michael Scheuer, formerly with the CIA, has said that Al Qaeda does not plan attacks around important dates, so far as the CIA can glean. But take Ayman at his word when he says he at least plans some of his messages around anniversaries, as he and Islambouli did by sending Zawahiri-issued messages in 2004 on the third anniversary of 9/11 and then in 2005 on the third anniversary of the transfer of prisoners to Guantanamo. He said: “These days we are marking three years since the transportation of the first group of Muslim prisoners was sent to the Guantanamo prison.”

      The Vanguards of Conquest did the same thing in the late 1990s. Just as Zawahiri’s thinking on weaponizing anthrax was gaining traction in emails to Atef in the Spring of 1999, the Vanguards invoked an anniversary relating to the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and issued a statement marking its 20th anniversary. The group said at the time it was reiterating its enmity toward the US and Israel to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the treaty in March 1979. Signed on March 26, 1979, the Egypt-Israel peace treaty was a direct result of the Camp David Peace Accords, signed in September 1978.

      The first round of letters was sent to ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Post, and the publisher of the National Enquirer and Sun. Letters were sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy in a second batch, using a much more highly refined product. The mailing dates were of special importance to the man that the CIA in its December 4, 1998 PDB told President Clinton was planning the attack the US using aircraft and other means — Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin. The letters to the news organizations were mailed — coincidentally or not — on September 17 or September 18, either the day the Camp David Accord was signed in 1978 or the next day when it was approved by the Israeli knesset. Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik, in the early 1980s, said: “We reject Camp David and we regret the normalization of relations with Israel. We also reject all the commitments that were made by the traitor Sadat, who deviated from Islam.” He continued: “As long as the Camp David Agreement stands, this conflict between us and the government will continue.”

      At the time of the anthrax mailings, Sadat’s assassination and the Camp David Accord still dominated Zawahiri’s thinking. In Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet, Al-Zawahiri argued in the Fall of 2001 that the Camp David Accord sought to turn Sinai into a disarmed area to serve as a buffer zone between Egypt and Israel. He cites the peace treaty between the two countries, particularly issues related to the armament of the Egyptian Army inside Sinai. He claims that Egypt has restored Sinai formally but it remains in the hands of Israel militarily. Al-Zawahiri cites many examples about the US flagrant support for Israel, including the US pressure on Egypt to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at a time when Israel publicly declares that it will not sign the treaty because of its special circumstances.

      Despite this, Zawahiri says, the United States sympathizes with Israel and overlooks its actions. This means that the United States has deliberately left the nuclear weapons in the hands of Israel to threaten its Arab neighbors. Al-Zawahiri argues in his book that the western states have considered Israel’s presence in the region a basic guarantee for serving the Western interests.

      The Wall Street Journal explained in August 2002: “Oct. 8 last year was Columbus Day, a public holiday on which mail wasn’t collected from letter boxes. That may mean the letters could have been posted as early as the Saturday before.” Taking into account the fact that there was no mail postmarked with a Trenton postmark on Columbus Day, October 8, the letter to Senator Tom Daschle postmarked October 9 may actually have been mailed October 6. (The FBI, of course, may know the date it was mailed based on information that has not been disclosed.) (Some press reports, however, suggest that they are considering that the mailing may have been at anytime during the October 6-October 9 period). October 6 was the day Anwar Sadat was assassinated for his role in the Camp David Accord. President Sadat was assassinated on the national holiday called “Armed Forces Day.” He was killed during an annual holiday parade which marks the day, October 6, 1973, that Egypt made a critical successful surprise attack on Israel during the 1973 war.

      “Death to Pharaoh!” the young Army officer shouted. He and his confederates jumped off the truck shot into the reviewing stand where Sadat had been watching the annual parade. “I killed the Pharaoh, and I do not fear death.” Sadat’s detention of Muhammad Shawqi al-Islambouli had spurred his brother, Khalid, to seize an opportunity presented on short notice to assassinate Anwar Sadat.

      Kamal Habib, founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and writer for the IANA quarterly magazine, who spent 10 years in prison in connection with the assassination, told academic Fawaz Gerges: “It was not a well-coordinated operation, and it succeeded by a miracle.”

      A street was named after Khalid Islambouli in Iran, with Iran having been upset at Egypt for granting the Shah safe haven. After leaving whereby it would be difficult to change by any government hostile to Israel that comes after Al-Sadat.” The militants were especially angry that Sadat had not fully implemented shariah law.

      Complicating consideration of the issue, on October 5, 2001, the shura member of EIJ and former head of Bin Laden’s farm in the Sudan, Mahjoub, had his bail denied. Mahmoud Mahjoub was second in command of the Vanguards of Conquest. A letter containing nonpathogenic bacteria had been sent in late January 2001 threatening use of mailed anthrax to the immigration minister signing his security certificate. Mahjoub was bin Laden’s farm manager in Sudan. Al-Hawsawi, KSM’s assistant with the anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop, kept the books.

      The CIA and FBI analysts should have pored over translations of the journal Al-Manar Jadeed published by the Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America from 1998 – 2002 by writers based in Cairo. It mainly concerned Egyptian politics and planned the strategy based on all that had gone on before. There was a change in tone between the first piece by Gamal Sultan and the second installment. The first (before his letter to Abdel-Rahman) urged a pluralistic tolerant approach to differing views while the second issue (after his letter to Abdel-Rahman) contained his piece that seems to have resorted to the familiar intransigent neo-Salafist view.

      In a September 2006 video, in a message on yet another 5-year anniversary of 9/11, Zawahiri explained: “Among the most prominent of these conspirators are the rulers of Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan and the traitors in Iraq who shade themselves with the cross of America, the Great Satan…[For these regimes] the slogan ‘death to America, death to Israel’ has gone to be replaced by ‘rule from America and peace with Israel.'” On numerous occasions, Zawahiri has been paying express attention to anniversary dates.

      Tarek Hamouda’s lifelong friend, Khaled Hamid (CAIR-St. Louis) has a website ( that addresses the US support for Israel. Dr. Hamid held a press conference explaining that it would violate the Hippocratic Oath to engage in terrorism. He has said that Ayman Zawahiri is a fanatic. In a radio interview, he explained that he could not tell the FBI about a sleeper cell if he did not know about it.

      • DXer said

        “Release Him”: Retaliation for Detention of the Blind Sheikh And Other Detainees

        The extradition of Egyptian islamists has been one motive for Zawahiri’s crimes over the past quarter-century. In 1993, Abdel Sattar was 33. The US Post Office employee was a member of the board at Abu Bakr mosque in Brooklyn. He was already a close associate of Abdel-Rahman. In talking to a Washington Post reporter, he took a zigzag ride to a place chosen at random at the last minute. He explained that bad things likely would happen if the blind sheik was not released. In December 1994, Algerian Islamic militants seized control of an Air France jetliner in Algiers in an unsuccessful bid to crash it into Eiffel Tower on Christmas Day. The hijackers demanded the release of the blind sheik.

        The United States State Department, on its webpage, explains that the Egyptian Islamic Jihad “[h]as threatened to retaliate against the United States for its incarceration of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman and, more recently, for the arrests of its members in Albania, Azerbaijan, and the United Kingdom.” As one informant would later testify, Al Qaeda leadership, then in Khartoum, Sudan, found the blind sheikh’s arrest “very sad and.. very bad.” They concluded they had “to do something.. They talk about what we have to do against America.”

        Blind sheik Abdel-Rahman spoke to Mary Anne Weaver, author of the seminal A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant
        Islam in the mid-1990s. Abdel-Rahman first went to Peshawar in 1985. He left from Peshawar for a trip into Afghanistan after being released after three years in an Egyptian prison after Sadat’s assassination. He settled into the back seat of the U.S.-supplied camouflaged truck shortly after prayers, helped into a flak jacket by his friend, Afghan resistance leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar was receiving half of the CIA’s financial support even though he was one of the most anti-US leaders in the resistance against Soviet occupation. Mary Anne Weaver wrote in The Atlantic Monthly in 1996: “They had much in common: both were exceedingly charismatic religious populists; both had committed their lives to jihad, or Islamic holy war; both were fiery orators. They were both given to elliptical, colorful turns of phrase, and their shared message was clear: the imperative to overthrow a secular government — whether in Afghanistan or Egypt — and establish an Islamic state.” Weaver recounts that joining them in the truck was Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin. The 60 CIA and special forces officers in Peshawar considered Abdel-Rahman an asset. In preaching jihad, Abdel-Rahman travelled to Islamic centers in Germany, England, Turkey, and the United States.

        Weaver explained that Sheikh Omar’s closest friend in Peshawar was Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a highly respected Palestinian. He was killed by a car bomb in 1989. Azzam established the Service Office, which he led until November of 1989, which like its sister office at the Alkifah Refugee Center, on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue, recruited Arab volunteers. Islambouli headed the office after Azzam’s death. Mohammed Islambouli had been a student of Sheikh Omar’s at the Upper Egyptian University of Asyut. WTC 1993 prosecutor McCarthy explained in a 2008 book: “In Peshawar, both in 1985 and several times thereafter, Abdel Rahman would enjoy the august company of his former student Mohammed Shawky al-Islambouli, a fixture there. A rising jihadist star in his own right, Shawky’s prominence owed much to his mythogenic brother…”

        By the time Weaver wrote her article for the Atlantic Monthly, Mohammed Islambouli had joined a cell with KSM in planning the aircraft and other attacks on the US and was with him in Doha, Qatar.

        In December 1995, the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad was attacked by a devastating car bomb following threats from militant Egyptian Islamist groups who demanded that the government of Pakistan stop extraditing their members who had stayed in Peshawar when the war came to an end. The groups also demanded that the United States release Sheikh Abdel-Rahman who had been imprisoned in connection with a plot to blow up New York City landmarks.

        In a booklet written by al Zawahiri, distributed among his colleagues in Pakistan and Afghanistan, al Zawahiri discussed the reasons that led to Egyptian Islamic Jihad to blow up the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad. He criticized all branches of the Egyptian government from the Minister of Information, to the army and police forces, the justice system, the public prosecutor’s office, and the religious scholars. But his harshest criticism was directed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was responsible for pursuing jihad members abroad and kidnapping and extraditing them. In September 2000, in an interview with an Arabic-language television station, Usama Bin Laden called for a “jihad” to release the “brothers” in jail “everywhere.” In the book he wrote at the time of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, he explained that the reason for the attack on the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan in 1995 was because Egypt had been extraditing fundamentalists from Pakistan. When surveillance of the US embassy showed that it was perhaps too difficult a target, the Egyptian embassy was targeted as a symbol. Zawahiri wrote in the Fall 2001 that : “It left the embassy ruined as an eloquent and clear message.”

        An FBI 302 memo dated December 30, 1996 relating to intelligence gathered from the jailed WTC 1993 plotter Ramzi Yousef reflected the same warning of a hijack-of-an-aircraft-to-free-the-blind sheik plot.

        Bin Laden’s 1996 declaration of war on the United States complained of the arrests of Sheik al-Hawali and another colleague. In an interview, Bin Laden conducted with CNN’s Peter Arnett in 1997, Bin Laden told Arnett: “When the Saudi government transgressed in oppressing all voices of the scholars and the voices of those who call for Islam. I found myself forced, especially after the government prevented Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali and some other scholars, to carry out a small part of my duty of enjoining what is right and forbidding with the United States so long as the Blind Sheik was released.

        In 1998, the blind sheik issued a fatwa directing that Americans be killed to avenge his imprisonment. During the trial relating to bombing the U.S. embassies in Africa, one witness testified that Abdel Rahman smuggled a flier from prison calling on Muslims to avenge indignities he sustained as a prisoner. “Oh people, oh men of Allah, rise up from your deep slumber. .. Rise up and see justice done,” the sheik wrote in a letter smuggled out of prison.

        Zawahiri gave the same motivation for the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. In 1998, the “Information Office of the Jihad Group in Egypt” issued a statement — a copy of which was received by Al-Hayat — entitled “About the extradition of three of our brothers.” It said that “the US government, in coordination with the Egyptian government, arrested three of our brothers in some East European states.” The statement said: “The accusation leveled at our three brothers was participation in a group declaring jihad against the United States and Israel and their trade, and cooperation with the mujahidin in Kosovo outside US influence.” It continued: “We are interested in briefly telling the Americans that their message has been received and that the response, which we hope they will read carefully, is being [prepared], because we — with God’s help — will write it in the language that they understand.”

        Three days later, 220 people at the embassies, mostly Africans, were killed. Zawahiri deemed many were working on intelligence matters against islamists in the region. In response to a retaliatory cruise missile strike after the embassy bombings, Zawahiri told a Pakistan journalist by satellite phone that “The war has only just begun.” The phone had been bought by a charity worker in Columbia, Missouri who later lived with the father of the leader of the Virginia Paintball defendants Royer.

        In the Spring and Fall of 1999, the Blind Sheik’s assistant, Sattar, was in telephone communication with Deputy Military Commander Mustafa Hamza, the blind sheik’s successor Taha, Yassir al-Sirri, and al-Zayat. They spoke on conference calls about the blind sheikh’s withdrawal of his support for the cease fire. Although suspecting his phone was wiretapped, Sattar continued to talk vaguely in code about these issues with these people, all of whom were closely connected to al-Zawahiri. This was the period Zawahiri moved forward his anthrax planning and there was a public dialogue between Bin Laden and a London cleric’s call for a holy biowar.

        On September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised an interview with Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri, and Islamic leader Abu Yasser (of the Islamic Group and Al Qaeda), and Mohammed Abdel Rahman (the blind sheik’s son), during which they pledged jihad to free Abdel Rahman. They urged that his followers avenge the “insult” paid him by his imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder. Bin Laden vowed “to work with all our power to free our brother, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and all our prisoners in America, Egypt, and Riyadh. Bin Laden told his followers to remember Nosair, the man who assassinated Rabbi Kahane. In an audio overlay, Mohammed was heard saying “avenge your sheik” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

        When Abdel-Rahman visited Peshawar in the late 1980s and early 1990s Abdel-Rahman stayed in a large house outside of Peshawar with Mohammed Islambouli and Zawahiri. Al-Timimi would speak alongside Abdel-Rahman’s son at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1996. Alarm bells should have gone off when Al-Timimi in the late 1990s first started walking down the hallways with famed Russian bioweaponeer and former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey. There is no indication that they did.

        Zawahiri wrote in Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet published at the time of the second anthrax mailing that he agreed with the supporter of the “blind sheik” who said: “the Egyptian Government is guilty of a major shortcoming by not intervening to safeguard the shaykh, guarantee his humanitarian rights inside the US jail, and find a solution to his case because, in the final count, he is an Egyptian national, a Muslim scholar, and a professor at Al-Azhar university. Finally he is a blind and sick old man. His continued detention and the inhuman way in which he is treated will continue to be a source of tension on all levels.

        The ruling shura (council) of Egyptian Islamic Jihad in the mid-1990s had 14 members, including three in London. Two of those three, Adel Abdel Bari and Ibrahim Eidarous, at the time of the anthrax mailings, were the ones who the spilling of blood.” But the blind sheik’s plight was also of concern to alleged Al Qaeda operatives in the US.

        Members of an alleged Detroit, Michigan terror cell had an angry conversation in June 2001 about Abdel Rahman’s imprisonment.
        Similarly, the Government’s Indictment of the Buffalo defendants explained that one of the reasons motivating the terrorists actions was that “al Qaeda opposed the United States Government because of the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of persons belonging to Al Qaeda or its affiliated terrorist groups or those with whom it worked.”

        In July 2001, Attorney Lynne Stewart visited Abdel Rahman and prior to the visit she signed and faxed to the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York an affirmation by which she agreed to abide by the terms of the administrative restrictions on communication. Lynne Stewart had been appointed by the Court in 1995 along with former Attorney Ramsey Clarke, to represent the Blind Sheik. In the Summer of 2001, Patrick Fitzgerald wanted to impress upon her the seriousness of the obligation. Her next visit was recorded on videotape without her knowledge. She was found to have brought a message to Abdel Rahman from his son, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, which urged Abdel Rahman to support an end to the cease-fire. The blind sheikh’s son, Muhammed (aka Assadullah) was reportedly on a three-member WMD Committee, along with Midhat Mursi (aka Abu Khabab) and Abu Bashir al-Yemeni. He ran a camp at the Darunta complex, as did Midhat Mursi. Stewart was indicted in 2002 for violating prison administrative regulations by helping the Blind Sheik communicate his abandonment of support for the cease fire.

        Stewart secretly brought to Abdel Rahman correspondence and messages from other individuals. During this visit, Stewart told Abdel Rahman that Sattar had been told that the U.S.S. Cole had been bombed on Abdel Rahman’s behalf and that translator Yousry had been asked to communicate the United States Government that other things would follow if it did not free Abdel Rahman. Abdel Rahman said that negotiations should go through an attorney. While Yousry was informing Abdel Rahman about these things, attorney Stewart actively concealed the conversations from the prison guards by, for example, tapping a water bottle on the table while noting that she was “just doing covering noises.” Attorney Stewart, Sattar, and a co-defendant were convicted in February 2005.

        IANA writer Kamal Habib, the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, was in charge of the “National Campaign to Release Detainees.” It perhaps was inevitable that IANA would be caught in the crossfire just as was Abdel-Rahman’s attorney Lynne Stewart.

        As a source, the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the U.S.” mentions “a senior EIJ member” living in California. The reference is to former US sergeant Ali Mohammed, Ayman Zawahiri’s head of intelligence. The references in the PDB to the threat of aircraft hijacking in an attempt to free blind sheik Abdel-Rahman were perhaps underscored a month later when, the week before 9/11, the Taliban government offered to exchange eight Christian missionaries in exchange for Sheik Abdel-Rahman. Whether viewed as blackmail or retaliation, the detention of the blind sheikh and numerous other detainees in custody prior to 9/11 figured as an important part of the motive for all the terrorist attacks by the Salafist-Jihadis for years leading up to the anthrax mailings.

        In April 2005, Moussaoui confessed to a plot to fly a 747 into the White House if the United States government refused to free the blind sheikh. Bin Laden had considered hijacking a plane in an attempt to flee the blind sheikh but determined it was impractical.

        In the Amerithrax Third Squad’s testing of the theory that a supporter of the Salafist-Jihadis mailed the anthrax, concern for detention of blind sheik Abdel-Rahman should have been a major factor — not semen-stained panties.

  14. DXer said

    Book reviews: ‘The Longest War’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden’,0,3952951.story

  15. DXer said

    Al-Timimi’s attorney explained in a court filing that unsealed in April 2008 that Ali “was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali” and “was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having ‘extensive ties’ with the ‘broader al-Qaeda network.” Al-Timimi was on an advisory board member of Assirat al-Mustaqueem (”The Straight Path”), an international Arabic language magazine. Assirat, produced in Pittsburgh beginning in 1991, was the creation of a group of North American muslims, many of whom were senior members of IANA. Its Advisory Committee included Bassem Khafagi and Ali Al-Timimi. As Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008:
    “[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted passage ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden.”

    Two staff members who wrote for Assirat then joined IANA’s staff when it folded in 2000. They had been members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and were activists in the movement. One of the former EIJ members, Gamal Sultan, was the editor of the quarterly IANA magazine in 2002. Mr. Sultan’s brother Mahmoud wrote for Assirat also. The most prominent writer was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Kamal Habib. He led the Egyptian Islamic Jihad at the time of Anwar Sadat’s assassination when young doctor Zawahiri’s cell merged with a few other cells to form the EIJ. Two writers for Assirat in Pittsburgh had once shared a Portland, Oregon address with Al Qaeda member Wadih El-Hage. Wadih al Hage was Ali Mohammed’s friend and served as Bin Laden’s “personal secretary.”

    Kamal Habib had been a founding member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and had spent 10 years in jail for the assassination of Anwar Sadat. In the late 1970s, the cell run by the young doctor Zawahiri joined with three other groups to become Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) under Habib’s leadership. After a visit in 2000, Gamal Sultan said Pittsburgh was known as the “American Kandahar,” given its rolling hills. In Egypt he formed the Islah (“Reform”) party with Gamal Sultan. While contributing to Al Manar al Jadeed, the Ann Arbor-based IANA’s quarterly journal, the pair sought the blind sheik’s endorsement of their political party venture in March 1999. They were not seeking the official participation of organizations like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Egyptian Islamic Group. They were just hoping the groups would not oppose it. The pair wanted members of the movement to be free to join in peaceful partisan activity. They were not deterred when the blind sheik responded that the project was pointless, at the same he withdrew his support for the cease-fire initiative that had been backed by the imprisoned leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Group.

    In early April 2001, Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour rented an apartment in Falls Church, Virginia, for about a month, with the assistance of a man they met at the mosque. Nawaf Al-Hazmi had been at the January 2000 meeting at Yazid Sufaat’s Malaysian condominium in January 2000. Hijackers Nawaf and Hani Hanjour, a fellow pilot who was his friend from Saudi Arabia, attended sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, where Al-Timimi was located until he established the nearby center. The FBI reports that at an imam named Awlawki who had recently also moved from San Diego had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. Police later found the phone number of the Falls Church mosque when they searched the apartment of 9/11 planner Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. In his 2007 book, Center of the Storm, George Tenet noted that Ramzi bin al-Shibh had a CBRN role.

    Yusuf Wells, who was a fundraiser for the Benevolence International Foundation, visited Northern Virginia over the April 14-15, 2001 weekend. The previous month he had been at Iowa State University on a similar visit. On April 15, 2001, he was brought to a paintball game. In the second season, they had become more secretive after an inquiry by an FBI Special Agent was made in 2000 of one of the members about the games. Part of BIF fundraiser Wells’ job involved writing reports about his fund raising trips. In his April 15, 2001 report he writes:
    “I was taken on a trip to the woods where a group of twenty brothers get together to play Paintball. It is a very secret and elite group and as I understand it, it is an honor to be invited to come. The brothers are fully geared up in camouflage fatigues, facemasks, and state of the art paintball weaponry. They call it ‘training’ and are very serious about it. I knew at least 4 or 5 of them were ex US military, the rest varied.
    Most all of them young men between the ages of 17-35. I was asked by the amir of the group to give a talk after Thuhr prayer. I spoke about seeing the conditions of Muslims overseas while with BIF, and how the fire of Islam is still very much alive in the hearts of the people even in the midst of extreme oppression. I also stressed the idea of being balanced. That we should not just be jihadis and perfect our fighting skills, but we should also work to perfect our character and strengthen our knowledge of Islam. I also said that Muslims are not just book reading cowards either, and that they should be commended for forming such a group.

    Many were confused as to why I had been ‘trusted’ to join the group so quickly, but were comforted after my brief talk. Some offered to help me get presentations on their respective localities.”

    A man named Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God. “He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America.” Kwon said Al-Timimi told the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen —preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.

    After 9/11, although a dinner that night was cancelled in light of the events of the day, Al-Timimi sought “to organize a plan in case of anti-Muslim backlash and to get the brothers together.” The group got together on September 16. Al-Timimi when he came in told the group to turn of their phones, unplug the answering machine, and pull down the curtains. Al-Timimi told the group that Mullah Omar had called upon Muslims to defend Afghanistan. Al-Timimi read parts of the al-Uqla fatwa to the group and gave the fatwa to Khan with the instructions to burn it after he read it. Al Timimi said the duty to engage in jihad is “fard ayn” — an individual duty of all Muslims. Over a lunch with two of the group on September 19, Al-Timimi told them not to carry anything suspicious and if they were stopped on the way to Pakistan to ask for their mother and cry like a baby. He told them to carry a magazine. The next day the pair left for Pakistan. The group from the September 16 meeting met again in early October, and a number left for Pakistan immediately after that meeting.

    Al-Timimi’s lawyer explains that Al-Timimi was in telephone contact with Al-Hawali on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001:
    “The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.”

    Al-Timimi was urging the young men go defend the Taliban against the imminent US invasion. A recent open letter to Ayman Zawahiri from a senior Libyan jihadist, Bin-Uthman, now living in London, confirms that Ayman Zawahiri and Atef, at a several day meeting in Kandahar in the Summer of 2000, viewed WMD as deterrent to the invasion of Afghanistan.

    Kwon, who had just become a U.S. citizen in August 2001, went to the mountain training camps of Lashkar-e-Taiba. The U.S. placed on its terrorist list in December 2001. Kwon practiced with a semi-automatic weapons and learned to fire a grenade launcher, but he was not able to join the Taliban. The border between Afghanistan and Pakistan closed as U.S. forces took control of Afghanistan shortly before Kwon completed his training. His trainers suggested that he instead go back to the United States and gather information for the holy warriors. Kwon told jurors at al-Timimi’s trial how he first heard Al-Timimi speak in 1997 at an Islamic Assembly of North America conference in Chicago and then found that Al-Timimi lectured locally near his home in Northern Virginia. “Russian Hell” — a jihad video that featured bloody clips of a Chechen Muslim rebel leader executing a Russian prisoner of war — was a favorite among the videos that the group exchanged and discussed. “They (the videos) motivated us. It was like they gave us inspiration,” Kwon told the jurors.

    In 2001, Al-Timimi kept the personal papers of IANA President Khafagi at his home for safekeeping. His taped audio lecturers were among the most popular at the charity Islamic Assembly of North America in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He knew its President, Khafagi, both through work with CAIR and IANA. The same nondescript office building at 360 S. Washington St. in Falls Church where Timimi used to lecture at Dar al Arqam housed the Muslim World League.

    Al Timimi was close to his former teacher Safar al Hawali, the dissident Saudi sheik whose writings hail what he calls the inevitable downfall of the West. (Under pressure from authorities after 9/11, Al Hawali has played a public role in mediating between Saudi militants and the government.) Al-Timimi sought to represent and explain the views of radical sheik Al-Hawali in a letter he sent to members of Congress on the first anniversary of the mailing to the US Senators Daschle and Leahy. The Hawali October 6, 2002 letter drafted by Al-Timimi was hand delivered to every member of the US Congress just before their vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq, warning of the disastrous consequences that would follow an invasion of Iraq. Dr. Timimi’s defense committee explained on their website:
    “Because Dr. Al-Timimi felt that he did not have enough stature to send a letter in his name on behalf of Muslims, he contacted Dr. Al-Hawali among others to send the letter. Dr. Al-Hawali agreed and sent a revised version which Dr. Al-Timimi then edited and had hand delivered to every member of Congress.”

    In addition to the October 6, 2002 letter, drafted by Al-Timimi, Hawali had sent a lengthy October 15, 2001 “Open Letter” to President Bush in which he had rejoiced in the 9/11 attacks. One Al-Hawali lecture, sought to be introduced in the prosecution of the IANA webmaster, applauded the killing of Jews and called for more killing, praised suicide bombings, and said of Israel that it’s time to “fight and expel this hated country that consists of those unclean,
    a defiled, the cursed.”

    Bin Laden referred to Sheik al-Hawali in his 1996 Declaration of War on America. Prior to the 1998 embassy bombings, Ayman’s London cell sent letters to three different media outlets in Europe claiming responsibility for the bombings and referring to Hawali’s imprisonment. In two of the letters, the conditions laid out as to how the violence would stop were (1) release of Sheik al-Hawali (who along with another had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia in 1994) and (2) the release of blind sheik Abdel Rahman (who had been imprisoned in connection with WTC 1993). Hawali was released in 1999 after he agreed to stop advocating against the Saudi regime.

    Al-Timimi sent out a February 1, 2003 email in Arabic containing an article that said:

    “There is no doubt Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy. The Columbia crash made me feel, and God is the only One to know, that this is a strong signal that Western Supremacy (especially that of America) that began 500 years ago is coming to a quick end, God willing, as occurred to the shuttle.”

    As Ali later explained to NBC, “To have a space shuttle crash in Palestine, Texas, with a Texas president and an Israeli astronaut, somebody might say there’s a divine hand behind it.”

  16. DXer said

    While Al-Timimi was recruiting for the Taliban, he was also connected to one of the principals on Al Qaeda’s WMD Committee, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman spoke at the first conference of the Islamic Assembly of North America (”IANA”) in 1993 and was noted to be from Afghanistan. Mohammed Abdelrahman spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi again, for example, in 1996 in Toronto and again that December in Chicago at the annual conference. The December conference was held after blind sheik Abdel-Rahman was indicted. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was close to bin Laden and was engaged in planning key operations. OBL considered him like a son. Mohammed was on the three member WMD committee with Midhat Mursi. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman ran a training camp that was part of the larger complex of several camps. He was an explosives trainer.

    The “Superseding Indictment” in United States of postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar and others explains that on February 12, 1997, with Mohammed Abdelrahman back in Afghanistan, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “The Islamic Group declares all American interests legitimate targets to its legitimate jihad until the release of all prisoners, on top of whom” is Abdel Rahman. Three months later, on May 5, 1997, a statement issued in the name of the Islamic Group threatened, “If any harm comes to the
    [S]heikh [,] al-Gama al-IsIalamiy[y]a will target [] all of those Americans who participated in subjecting his life to danger.” The statement also said that “Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya considers every American official, starting with the American president to the despicable jailer [] partners endangering the Sheikh’s life,” and that the Islamic Group would do “everything in its power” to free Abdel Rahman.

    Al Qaeda continued to seek religious approval from blind sheik Abdel-Rahman for its attacks. The US indictment of the Post Office worker in contact with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman alleged: “On or about June 19, 2000, one of Abdel Rahman’s sons, Mohammed Abdel Rahman, spoke by telephone with SATTAR and asked SATTAR to convey to Abdel Rahman the fierceness of the debate within the Islamic Group about the initiative, and said SATTAR should tell Abdel Rahman to calm the situation by supporting “the general line of the Group.” The indictment of the US Post Office worker Sattar further alleges: “On or about June 20, 2000, SATTAR spoke by telephone with Mohammed Abdel Rahman and advised him that a conference call had taken place that morning between Abdel Pahman and some of his attorneys and that Abdel Rahman had issued a new statement. The press release issued in Abdel-Rahman’s name containing additional points which made clear, among other things, that Abdel Rahman was not unilaterally ending the initiative, but rather, was withdrawing his support for it and “stating that it was up” to the “brothers” in the Islamic Group now to reconsider the issue.

    The indictment of the US Post Office employee Sattar further alleges: “On or about September 21, 2000, an Arabic television station, Al Jazeera, televised a meeting of Usama Bin Laden (leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization), Ayman al Zawahiri (former leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization and one of Bin Laden’s top lieutenants), and Taha. Sitting under a banner which read, “Convention to Support Honorable Omar Abdel Rahman,” the three terrorist leaders pledged “to free Abdel Rahman from incarceration in the United States. During the meeting, Mohammed Abdel Rahman was heard encouraging others to “avenge your Sheikh” and “go to the spilling of blood.”

    Mohammed Abdel-Rahman was arrested in mid-February 2003. Ali Al-Timimi’s townhouse was searched two week later.

  17. DXer said

    Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett told the panel assembled by the National Academies of Sciences in July 2009 that she began her work to find a match began in late 2001 — a successful method was not completed until 2007, when agents report that they began to seriously investigate Ivins. “I was hopeful that perhaps genomics would provide sufficient amount of information to be able to track the material to its source, but I then, and have always, asserted that in no way did I ever believe that this kind of genomics-based investigation was ever going to lead to the perpetrator,” Fraser-Liggett said. “That was going to require much more traditional police investigation.”

    Fraser-Liggett, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences and an adviser to the FBI on Amerithrax, asked, “What would have happened in this investigation had Dr. Hatfill not been so forceful in his response to being named a person of interest. What if he, instead of fighting back, had committed suicide because of the pressure? Would that have been the end of the investigation?” It was Fraser-Liggett’s genetic analysis of the anthrax spores in the letters that led to Ivins’ flask, and the other 7 isolates with the same genetic profile. “The part that seems still hotly debated is whether there was sufficient evidence to name Dr. Ivins as the perpetrator,” Fraser-Liggett says. “I have complete confidence in the accuracy of our data,” Fraser-Liggett says, but she says it does not indicate Ivins is guilty.

    Similarly, asked if he thinks Ivins was the anthrax letters terrorist the FBI’s genetics expert Paul Keim says he just doesn’t know. “It remains to be seen.”
    According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Scanning electron microscopy of the spores used in the Senate office attack showed that they range from individual particles to aggregates of 100 [microns] or more. Spores were uniform in size and appearance and the aggregates had a propensity to pulverize (i.e., disperse into smaller particles when disturbed).”

    In October 2001, LSU and University of Michigan were subpoenaed. A DARPA Program Manager at the time privately told a friend of mine that they knew where the attack Ames came from and even the machine used to make it. What was the machine? The corona plasma discharge? A sonicator?

    According to Richard Hidalgo, assistant to the dean of the school of veterinary medicine at LSU, the DOJ asked the school to provide by Oct. 23 a log of all visitors and employees at the Hugh-Jones Special Pathogens Lab since Jan. 1, 2000, including their Social Security numbers and dates of birth. The subpoena also asked for information on shipments of pathogens to and from the lab. “Besides Dr. Hugh-Jones and his lab director, only three others have been in the lab” during the time in question, Hidalgo said. “I’ve never been there myself.” Why did the FBI limit the October 2001 subpoena of LSU Special Pathogens Lab to visitors after January 1, 2000. The DARPA research involving virulent Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins prior to that. Dr. Tarek Hamouda and lab tech Michael Hayes had worked with virulent Ames with Bruce Ivins in May 1998.

    Newsday reported:
    “A subpoena also was delivered to the University of Michigan, according to a source who asked not to be identified. ” …”LSU’s Hidalgo said the FBI appears to be looking for any breach in the strict handling procedures for anthrax and other select agents. It could not be determined yesterday how many institutions have received subpoenas. In some cases, the FBI has made investigative inquiries without court orders.”

    Alibek says Russia had Ames. Porton Down reportedly provided it to four unnamed researchers. American Type Culture Collection (“ATCC”) has written me to say that as a matter of policy, they will not address whether their patent repository (as distinguished from their online catalog) had virulent Ames prior to 9/11. Although ATCC did not take the opportunity to deny it, one can infer from the FBI’s affidavit in connection the search of Ivins’ residence that no lab in Virginia is known by the FBI to have had virulent Ames.

    Thus, FBI, in its “Ivins Theory,” was working on he understanding that ATCC did not have Ames in its patent repository. Work with virulent Ames was done by the Southern Research Institute in Frederick, which in 2000 was announced as the subcontractor under DARPA grant to Advanced Biosystems.

    Ari Fleischer explained: “What you have to keep in mind is the difference between knowledge about what type of information you have to have to produce it, and who could have sent it. They are totally separate topics that could involve totally separate people. It could be the same person or people. It could b e totally different people. The information does not apply to who sent it.” Ken Alibek, the former head of the Soviet bio-weapons program suggests that ‘If I were a terrorist, I would certainly not use a strain known to be from my country.'” To the same effect, Bruce Ivins would not have used the strain — a special mixture of the US Army strain — for which he was the “go-to” person.

    The Washington Post explained in a late October 2008 article: “While some FBI scientists were analyzing genetic mutations, others were scouring the planet for repositories of Ames-strain bacteria. To their surprise, Ames turned out to be quite rare, with only 15 U.S. institutions and three foreign ones possessing live, virulent Ames. Samples of Ames were collected and added to a repository the FBI had established at Fort Detrick. In a process that ended only in late 2006, bureau scientists picked up 1,072 samples of anthrax bacteria and tested each for mutations identical to the ones in the bioterrorist’s letters.”

    “Back at the bureau’s Washington field office, agents were reconstructing the history of RMR-1029. A giant flow chart, covering most of a wall, recorded each discovery about the origins of the spores and what Ivins did with them. But the agents wondered: Could others, besides Ivins, have gotten access to the flask of spores?” The Post article continues: “The question drives much of the skepticism about the FBI’s case.”

    At a news conference in August, bureau officials estimated that as many as 100 people potentially had access to the biocontainment lab where Ivins kept his collections. By the time of the release of the “Amerithrax Investigative Summary” in late February 2010 on a Friday afternoon, the estimate was revised upwards to include up to 377 at Ft. Detrick alone. Investigators have maintained that other possible suspects were ruled out, but they have never explained how. It is one of the gaps that independent experts and lawmakers have raised since Ivins’s death.”

    “We just don’t know how many hands it went through before it got to the ultimate user,” explained Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and once a consultant to the government’s investigation.
    One expert, Dr. C.J. Peters, summarizes:
    “Knowing that this strain was originally isolated in the U.S. has absolutely nothing to do with where the weapon may have been prepared because, as I tried to make the point, these strains move around. A post doc in somebody’s laboratory could have taken this strain to another lab and it could have been taken overseas and it could have ended up absolutely anywhere. Tiny quantities of anthrax that you couldn’t see, that you couldn’t detect in an inventory can be used to propagate as much as you want. So that’s just not, in fact, very helpful.”

    Although the FBI estimated during the August 2008 that, at a minimum, 100 had access to the flask in Bruce Ivins’ lab, Ft. Detrick scientists pointed out in the media that it used to be stored in a different lab in 1997, bringing the number up to 200-300 people. In the Amerithrax Investigative Summary, the DOJ revised the number up to a maximum of 377 — and that is just at Ft. Detrick. Other labs outside of Fort Detrick were sent RMR-1029 for their own research, including Dugway in Utah, the Battelle lab in Ohio, and academic institutions like the University of New Mexico.

    In April 2007, the United States Attorney sent Ivins a letter saying he was “not a target of the investigation.” Ivins’ attorney reports that Ivins was told that the FBI was investigating 42 people who had access to RMR-1029 at the Battelle labs in Ohio. Dean Boyd, a Justice Department spokesman, commented in February 2009: “The recent inventory issues at USAMRIID highlight the difficulties confronted by the FBI in their efforts to trace the evidentiary material back to its source at USAMRIID, and reinforce our conclusion that samples of anthrax could easily have been removed from the facility undetected.”

    The question relevant to an Al Qaeda theory is what access to the US Army strain might have been accomplished by someone with 1) an organization supported by funds diverted from charities backing his play, and 2) a lot of educated and technically-trained Salafists who believe in his Islamist cause.

    A former KGB spy master says that the Russians had a spy at Ft. Detrick who provided samples of all specimens by diplomatic pouch. But it seems more likely that Al Qaeda got it directly from a western laboratory. For example, Ayman had a trusted scientist attending conferences sponsored by Porton Down scheduling 10-day lab visit as early as 1999. In the US, he had the support of other scientists (such as GMU’s Al-Timimi) who did advanced research alongside researchers working with the Ames strain under a contract with USAMRIID for DARPA.

    The DOJ also has provided a December 5, 1997 letter from a University of Michigan Medical Center scientist to Bruce Ivins. It states

    “Dear Dr. Ivins:
    It was a pleasure speaking with you the other day. I much appreciate your willingness to work with us concerning our new anti-sporicidal material. We are looking forward to doing it in vitro evaluating or not whether this material against anthrax spores given its efficacy against other species of bacillus spores. These studies would involve mixing the material with the spores for varying lengths of time and then either separating the spores or culturing them directly to determine the viability. We might also do fixation of the spore preparations to determine if there are any ultrastructural changes in the spores that can be oberved with electron microscopy.”
    “My technicians are fully trained in the contagious pathogen handling and have experience with level 3 biosafety requirements. They, as I, are willing to undergo the anthrax and plague immunizations, although I was hoping that they might be able to administer the vaccines at the University of Michigan. This might allow us to only make one trip to USAMRID before we begin the studies. If we could either purchase the vaccine from you or from a commercial distributor, we would be happy to administer it and document titers in any way you feel appropriate.
    I look forward to the initiation of this work. I believe it could be a very interesting collaboration that could eventually lead to animal studies. On December 19, commensurate with the filing of patents on this material, I will send you additional data on the formulations and our studies concerning the ability of these materials to inactivate spores both in vitro and in vivo.


    _____ Division of Allergy”

    The FBI apparently did not obtain the documents from Bruce Ivins relating to the correspondence with the University of Michigan researchers until 2005 — four years after the mailings. At that time, someone using Arthur Friedlander’s telephone number forwarded evidence that Dr. Hamouda and lab tech Michael Hayes had received anthrax and plague vaccinations in advance of coming to work alongside Dr. Ivins in the BL-3 laboratory using virulent Ames. The sender noted that the 20 pages being forwarded had been provided the sender by Bruce Ivins.

    The University of Michigan Medical Center letter dated May 10 [1998] to Bruce Ivins
    “My colleagues and I would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to both you and Dr. Ivins personal interaction that produced them. Given the non-toxic nature of these emulsions, we feel that they may have a role in the decontamination and treatment of agents such as anthrax and alphavirus. We look forward to future collaborative efforts with Dr. Ivins and his laboratory staff. With the diverse nature of our respective programs, we believe that a cooperative approach will serve to accelerate the development of these compounds.”

    In a number of patents by University of Michigan researchers in Ann Arbor, Tarek Hamouda and James R. Baker, Jr., including some filed before 9/11, the inventors thanked Bruce Ivins of Ft. Detrick for supplying them with virulent Ames. The University of Michigan patents stated: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1 B strains, were kindly supplied by Dr. Bruce Ivins (USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md.), and prepared as previously described (Ivins et al., 1995). Dr. Hamouda served as group leader on the DARPA Anti-infective project.

    A patent application filed April 2000 by the University of Michigan inventors explained:

    “The release of such agents as biological weapons could be catastrophic in light of the fact that such diseases will readily spread the air.
    In light of the foregoing discussion, it becomes increasingly clear that cheap, fast and effective methods of killing bacterial spores are needed for decontaminating purposes. The inventive compounds have great potential as environmental decontamination agents and for treatments of casualties in both military and terrorist attacks. The inactivation of a broad range of pathogens … and bacterial spores (Hamouda et al., 1999), combined with low toxicity in experimental animals, make them (i.e., the inventive compounds) particularly well suited for use as general decontamination agents before a specific pathogen is identified.”

    In late August 2001, NanoBio relocated from a small office with 12 year-old furniture to an expanded office on Green Road located at Plymouth Park. After the mailings, DARPA reportedly asked for some of their product them to decontaminate some of the Senate offices. The company reportedly had pitched hand cream to postal workers. The inventors company, NanoBio, was initially funded by DARPA.

    Dr. Hamouda graduated Cairo Medical in December 1982. He married in 1986. His wife was on the Cairo University dental faculty for 10 years. Upon coming to the United States in 1994 after finishing his microbiology PhD at Cairo Medical, Dr. Hamouda was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in downtown Detroit. His immunology department biography at Wayne indicates that he then came to the University of Michigan and began work on the DARPA-funded work with anthrax bio-defense applications with James R. Baker at their company NanoBio.

    The University of Michigan researchers presented in part at various listed meetings and conferences in 1998 and 1999. The Department of Justice provided a copy of December 1999 article titled “A Novel Surfactant Nanoemulsion with Broad-Spectrum Sporicidal Activity of against Bacillus Species” in its disclosure under FOIA. The article in the Journal for Infectious Diseases states: “B. anthracis spores, Ames and Vollum 1B strains, were supplied by Bruce Ivins (US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID], Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD) and were prepared as described elsewhere. Four other strains of B. anthracis were provided by Martin Hugh-Jones (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge).” Dr. Baker advises me by email that NanoBio’s research with virulent Ames was “done at USAMRIID by a microbiologist under Dr. Ivins’ direct supervision and at LSU under the direction of Dr. Hugh Jones.”

    In the acknowledgements section, the University of Michigan authors thanked:

    (1) Shaun B. Jones, Jane Alexander, and Lawrence DuBois (Defense Science Office, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) for their support;

    (2) Bruce Ivins for supplying virulent Ames;

    (3)Patricia Fellows (who is identified as Ivins’ Former Colleague #2 in the Amerithrax Investigative Summary);

    (4) Mara Linscott (who is identifed as Ivins’ “Former Colleague #1); and

    (5) Arthur Friedlander, the Army’s top anthrax expert.

    He thanked Drs. Fellows, Linscott and Friedlander for their technical support and helpful suggestions in the performance of the initial anthrax studies.

    (7) Martin-Hugh-Jones at LSU,

    (8) Kimothy Smith, who moved from LSU to Northern Arizona University, where he was a key genetics expert for the FBI typing submitted samples in 2002; and

    (9) Pamela Coker, Kimothy’s close associate who served as the LSU biolevel 3 lab head.

    Dr. Hamouda thanked Hugh-Jones, Smith and Coker for supplying the characterized B. anthracis strains and the space at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).

    The University of Michigan researchers found that their nanoemulsion incorporated into the growth medium completely inhibited the growth of the spores. Transmission electron microscope was used to examine the spores.

    The patent explained that “The nanoemulsions can be rapidly produced in large quantities and are stable for many months *** Undiluted, they have the texture of a semisolid cream and can be applied topically by hand or mixed with water. Diluted, they have a consistency and appearance similar to skim milk and can be sprayed to decontaminate surfaces or potentially interact with aerosolized spores before inhalation.”

    A March 18, 1998 press release had provided some background to the novel DARPA-funded work. It was titled “Novavax Microbicides Undergoing Testing at University of Michigan Against Biological Warfare Agents; Novavax Technology Being Supplied to U.S. Military Program At University of Michigan as Possible Defense Against Germ Warfare.” The release stated that “The Novavax Biologics Division has designed several potent microbicides and is supplying these materials to the University of Michigan for testing under a subcontract. Various formulations are being tested as topical creams or sprays for nasal and environmental usage. The biocidal agent’s detergent degrades and then explodes the interior of the spore. Funding, the press release explains, was provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense.

    In a presentation at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 26, 1998, Michael Hayes, a research associate in the U-Michigan Medical School, presented experimental evidence of BCTP’s ability to destroy anthrax spores both in a culture dish and in mice exposed to anthrax through a skin incision. “In his conference presentation, Hayes described how even low concentrations of BCTP killed more than 90 percent of virulent strains of Bacillus anthracis spores in a culture dish.” Its website explains that the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is the “[p]remier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology.”

    In 1999, LSU researcher Dr.Kimothy Smith, who was thanked for providing BL-3 space for the research by the University of Michigan researchers, moved to the Arizona lab, bringing with him the lab’s first samples of anthrax.”

    A University of Michigan Medical school publication, Medicine at Michigan, (Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 1999) explained: “In studies with rats and mice in the U-M Medical School under the direction of James R. Baker, Jr., M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology, the mixture, known as BCTP, attacked anthrax spores and healed wounds caused by a closely related species of bacteria, Bacillus cereus. (The letters BCTP stand for Bi-Component, Triton X-100 n-tributyl Phosphate.)
    Baker describes the process as follows: “The tiny lipid droplets in BCTP fuse with anthrax spores, causing the spores to revert to their active bacterial state. During this process, which takes 4-5 hours, the spore’s tough outer membrane changes, allowing BCTP’s solvent to strip away the exterior membrane. The detergent then degrades the spores’ interior contents. In scanning electron microscope images, the spores appear to explode.” The rapid inactivation of anthrax bacteria and spores combined with BCTP’s low toxicity thus make the emulsion a promising candidate for use as a broad-spectrum, post-exposure decontamination agent.
    The research is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense.”

    Dr. Baker, by email, advises me that Ivins did that was where the effort to combat the perceived Bin Laden anthrax threat was launched in 1998. Aafia Siddiqui, who attended classes at a building with the virulent Vollum strain. She later married a 9/11 plotter al-Balucchi, who was in UAE with al-Hawsawi, whose laptop, when seized at the home of a bacteriologist, had anthrax spraydrying documents on it. The reality is that a lab technician, researcher, or other person similarly situated might simply have walked out of some lab that had it.

    Among the documents found in Afghanistan in 2001 were letters and notes written in English to Ayman Zawahiri by a scientist about his attempts to obtain an anthrax sample. One handwritten letter was on the letterhead of the Society for Applied Microbiology, the UK’s oldest microbiological society. The Society for Applied Microbiology of Bedford, UK, recognizes that “the development and exploitation of Applied Microbiology requires the maintenance and improvement of the microbiological resources in the UK, such as culture collections and other specialized facilities.” Thus, Zawahiri’s access to the Ames strain is still yet to be proved, but there was no shortage of possibilities or recruitment attempts by Ayman. One colleague of his estimates that he made 15 recruitment attempts over the course of a decade. Dr. Keim observes: “Whoever perpetrated the first crime must realize that we have the capability to identify material and to track the material back to its source. Whoever did this is presumably aware of what’s going on, and if the person is a scientist, they can read the study. Hopefully, the suspension. Another article discusses Delta Ames supplied to Edgewood by the Battelle-managed Dugway, subtilis, and use of sheep blood agar. Did Battelle have virulent Ames across I-95? Edgewood tested nanoemulsion biocidal agents during this time period, according to a national nanobiotechnology initiative report issued June 2002.

  18. DXer said

    MSNBC, relying on an unnamed FBI spokesperson, reported that the FBI has narrowed the pool of labs known to have had the US Army anthrax strain that was a match from 16 to 4, but could not rule out that it was obtained overseas. Thus, not only was it likely that an Al Qaeda perpetrator was associated with an NGO and university, but there had to have been access to a virulent anthrax strain that was only in a score or so of known labs. Most of those labs were affiliated in some way with the US government. A key question is how they acquired the anthrax strain — the “Ames strain” first isolated by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab in 1980. The US Army recipe from the 1950s was not used, and obtaining the unprocessed Ames strain of anthrax does not warrant the weight given it by some press accounts. Although coveted as the “gold standard” in vaccine research, it is known to have been at about a score of labs and over the years an estimated 1,000 people may have had access.

    After the suicide of Ft. Detrick scientist Bruce Ivins, it was announced that the number of people known to have had access to one of the matching samples to have been at up to 377 at USAMRIID, even before considering the isolates downstream. Initially, at an August 2008 press conference the United States Attorney had fosters erroneous preconceptions, which may misguide research and preparedness efforts and generally detract from the magnitude of hazards posed by simple spore preparations.” Harvard professor Matthew Meselson consulted with the author on the article.

    In the affidavit regarding the investigation of Ft. Detrick scientist Ivins, the investigator refers to a finding of silicon (as distinguished from silica) but does not explain why silicon would point to Dr. Ivins, given that no silicon was detected in the Ivins flask. At a mid-August 2008 briefing on the science, the FBI’s WMD head explained the silicon dioxide could have been in the culture medium.

    Contamination with a genetically distinct bacillus subtilus was found in the Post and Brokaw letters. “”Phenotypic and genotypic analyses demonstrate that the RMR-1029 does not have the Bacillus subtilus contaminant found in the evidentiary spore powders, which suggests that the anthrax used in the letter attacks was grown from the material contained in RMR-1029 and not taken directly from the flask and placed in the envelopes. Since RMR-1029 is the genetic parent to the evidentiary spore powders, and it is not known how the Bacillus subtillus contaminant came to be in the Post and Brokaw spore powders, the contaminant must have been introduced during the production of the Post and Brokaw spores.”

    • DXer said

      George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says: “Al-Qa’ida spared no effort in its attempt to obtain biological weapons. In 1999, al-Zawahiri recruited Pakistani national Rauf Ahmad, to set up a small lab in Khandahar, Afghanistan, to house the biological weapons effort. In December 2001, a sharp WMD analyst at CIA found the initial lead on which we would pull and, ultimately, unravel the al-Qa’ida anthrax networks. We were able to identify Rauf Ahmad from letters he had written to Ayman al-Zawahiri. … We located Rauf Ahmad’s lab in Afghanistan. We identified the building in Khandahar where Sufaat claimed he isolated anthrax. We mounted operations that resulted in the arrests and detentions of anthrax operatives in several countries.”

      Delivering the James Smart Lecture, entitled “Global Terrorism: are we meeting the challenge?” at the headquarters of the City of London Police, Ms. Manningham-Buller, the head of MI5, said: “Western security services have uncovered networks of individuals, sympathetic to the aims of al-Qa’ida, that blend into society, individuals who live normal, routine lives until called upon for specific tasks by another part of the network.” She concluded: “The threats of chemical, biological and radiological and suicide attacks require new responses and the Government alone will not achieve all of it; industry and even the public must take greater responsibility for their own security.”

      In 1999, a scientist from Porton Down had reported to sfam members on a conference in Taos, New Mexico in August that included a talk by Tim Read, (TIGR, Rockville, USA) and concerned the whole genome sequencing of the Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. The Ames strain may have been a mystery to many after the Fall 2001 mailings, but not to motivated Society for Applied Microbiology (“SFAM”) members, one of whom was part of Ayman Zawahiri’s “Project Zabadi.”

      As described by Dr. Peter Turnbull’s Conference report for SFAM on “the First European Dangerous Pathogens Conference” (held in Winchester), at the September 1999 conference, the lecture theater only averaged about 75 at peak times by his head count. There had been a problem of defining “dangerous pathogen” and a “disappointing representation from important institutions in the world of hazard levels 3 and 4 organisms.” Papers included a summary of plague in Madagascar and another on the outbreak management of hemorrhagic fevers.

      Dr Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University presented a paper on multilocus VNTR typing, for example, of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. There were more than the usual no-show presenters and fill-in speakers.

      The Sunday at the start of the Organization of the Dangerous Pathogens meeting in September 2000, which the SFAM director confirmed to me that Rauf Ahmad also attended, was gloomy. Planning had proved difficult. The overseas delegates included a sizable contingent from Russia. The organizers needed to address many thorny issues regarding who could attend. One of the scientists in attendance was Rauf Ahmad. The Washington Post reports: “The tall, thin and bespectacled scientist held a doctorate in microbiology but specialized in food production, according to U.S. officials familiar with the case.”

      Les Baillie the head of the biodefense technologies group at Porton Down ran the scientific program. Many of the delegates took an evening cruise round Plymouth harbor. The cold kept most from staying out on the deck. Later attendees visited the National Marine Aquarium — with a reception in view of a large tankful of sharks. Addresses include presentations on plagues of antiquity, showing how dangerous infectious diseases had a profound that they changed the course of history. Titles include “Magna pestilencia – Black Breath, Black Rats, Black Death”, “From Flanders to Glanders,” as well as talks on influenza, typhoid and cholera. The conference was co-sponsored by DERA, the UK Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

      Les Baillie of Porton Down gave a presentation titled, “Bacillus anthracis: a bug with attitude!” He argued that anthrax was a likely pathogen to be used by terrorists. As described at the time by Phil Hanna of University of Michigan Medical School on the SFAM webpage, Baillie “presented a comprehensive overview of this model pathogen, describing its unique biology and specialized molecular mechanisms for pathogenesis and high virulence. He went on to describe modern approaches to exploit new bioinformatics for the development of potential medical counter measures to this deadly pathogen.”

      Bioinformatics was the field that Ali Al-Timimi, who had a security clearance for some government work and who had done work for the Navy, entered by 2000 at George Mason University in Virginia.

      Despite the cold and the sharks, amidst all the camaraderie and bonhomie no one suspected that despite the best efforts, a predator was on board — on a coldly calculated mission to obtain a pathogenic anthrax strain. The conference organizer Peter Turnbull had received funding from the British defense ministry but not from public health authorities, who thought anthrax too obscure to warrant the funding. By 2001, sponsorship of the conference was assumed by USAMRIID. USAMRIID scientist Bruce Ivins started planning the conference held in Annapolis, Maryland in June 2001 three years earlier, immediately upon his return from the September 1998 conference.

      According to the Pakistan press, a scientist named Rauf Ahmad was picked up in December 2001 by the CIA in Karachi. The most recent of the correspondence reportedly dates back to the summer and fall of 1999. Even if Rauf Ahmad cooperated with the CIA, he apparently could only confirm the depth of Zawahiri’s interest in weaponizing anthrax and provided no “smoking gun” concerning the identity of those responsible for the anthrax mailings in the Fall 2001. His only connection with SFAM was a member of the society. He was not an employee. The Pakistan ISI, according to the Washington Post article in October 2006, stopped cooperating in regard to Rauf Ahmad in 2003.

      I have uploaded scanned copies of some 1999 documents seized in Afghanistan by US forces describing the author’s visit to the special confidential room at the BL-3 facility where 1000s of pathogenic cultures were kept; his consultation with other scientists on some of technical problems associated with weaponizing anthrax; the bioreactor and laminar flows to be used in Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab; and the need for vaccination and containment. He explained that the lab director noted that he would have to take a short training course at the BL-3 lab for handling dangerous pathogens. Rauf Ahmad noted that his employer’s offer of pay during a 12-month post-doc sabbatical was wholly inadequate and was looking to Ayman to make up the difference. After an unacceptably low pay for the first 8 months, there would be no pay for last 4 months and there would be a service break. He had noted that he only had a limited time to avail himself of the post-doc sabbatical. I also have uploaded an earlier handwritten letter from before the lab visit described in the typed memo. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided the documents to me, along with 100+ pages more, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 90 of the 100 pages are the photocopies of journal articles and disease handbook excerpts.

      The Washington Post, in an exclusive groundbreaking investigative report, recounts that the FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role — and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in interrogating Rauf. Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf agreed to questioning. While the US media focused on the spectacle of bloodhounds alerting to Dr. Steve Hatfill and the draining of Maryland ponds, this former Al Qaeda anthrax operative provided useful leads. But problems began when the U.S. officials sought to pursue criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States.

      • DXer said

        Among the correspondence written by Rauf Ahmad seized in Afghanistan, there are handwritten notes about the plan to use NGOs, technical institutes and medical labs as cover for aspects of the work, and training requirements for the various personnel at the lab in Afghanistan.

        Documents found by journalists in November 2001 at a villa in Kabul occupied by UTN suggested brainstorming seminars on anthrax had been held to include diagrams suggestive of a plan to use a helium-filled balloon to disperse anthrax across a wide area. The nondescript two-story villa occupied by the Pakistani aid group was in a quiet residential neighborhood of Kabul where a number of international charities were located. One downloaded document had the picture of former Secretary Cohen holding up a 5 pound bag of sugar. There were details about the U.S. military’s vaccination program downloaded from a Defense Department site on the Internet and other Defense Department documents relating to anthrax. There were 10 copies each of most of the documents. On the floor, there was what appeared to be a disassembled rocket alongside a helium canister, as well as two bags of powder. A detailed diagram scrawled in black felt tip pen on a white board shows what appears to be a balloon rising at various trajectories, alongside a fighter jet that is apparently shooting at the balloon. Beside the jet are the words, “You are dead, bang.”

        There were also pictures of ground missiles linked by lines to the balloon. Mathematical calculations indicated the height at which the balloon would fly, the distance from which it would be shot down and the area over which its contents would be dispersed. Beside one of the balloons is the word “polystyrene” and beside another the word “cyanide.” Loose sheets of paper containing scribbles of missiles and balloons were strewn around the house, indicating those attending the seminar had been taking notes and doing calculations.

        Although people can reasonably disagree on the conclusion to be drawn of the drawing on the white board showing aerial dispersal of anthrax by balloon, the drawings should be understood in the context of Ayman’s research and reading on the subject. It thus is unacceptable to have uncertainty remain relating to the resolution of Amerithrax or to leave a conclusion where the process was rife with unresolved conflicts of interest.

  19. DXer said

    Anwar recently published about mailbombs in Al Qaeda’s magazine.

    “Awlaki is AQAP’s Head of Foreign Operations. In the latest issue of the group’s English-language magazine Inspire, an article signed “Head of Foreign Operations” takes credit for the recent parcel bomb plot and outlines in great detail the planning and thinking behind it. The article is almost certainly written by Awlaki. We know this because the article references obscure figures from the history of Muslim Spain, a pet subject of Awlaki’s, and because it mentions Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, a book he reviewed on his blog in 2008. Moreover, Awlaki is a personal friend of the editor of Inspire, Samir Khan, and has published in the magazine in the past.”

    Talking heads who opined that use of deadly letters were not a modus operandi of the Salafist-Jihadis appear unaware that the EIJ head of intelligence had trained Cairo Medical school Dahab to make lethal letters and that the Salafist-Jihadis had been behind the Al Hayat letter bombs connected to the detention and alleged mistreatment of the WTC 1993 plotters. (The blind sheik was complaining that they had not clipped his fingernails and he and Lynne Stewart had agreed to falsely claim that they were withholding his insulin).

    Anwar Aulaqi’s coordination with “anthrax weapons suspect” (his defense counsel’s term) Ali Al-Timimi is addressed by his defense counsel.

    • DXer said

      Ali Al-Timimi’s defense counsel, the famed MSNBC commentator Turley, explained in a brief to the federal court:

      “The conversation with [Bin Laden’s sheik] Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. ***

      [911 imam] Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy. The 9-11 Report indicates that Special Agent Ammerman interviewed Al-Aulaqi just before or shortly after his October 2002 visit to Dr. Al-Timimi’s home to discuss the attacks and his efforts to reach out to the U.S. government.

      [IANA head, Ann Arbor resident] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden [redacted]”

      • DXer said

        James, the Naval biological weapons / former DIA intelligence analyst who I will be seeing in a few days in DC, reports that Al-Timimi’s classified work for the Navy would be on a need-to-know basis and suggests that in the government it is considered impolite to ask questions you don’t need to know.

        My experience is that when fictional NCIS agent Gibbs is told that he has no need to know — he sometimes appreciates that he DOES have a need to know — and he makes it a point to find out. Here, the documentary evidence suggests that the FBI Task Force members did not even get the 16 pages faxed until February 2005 — on the fourth year of the investigation. Gibbs would have had the documents before he finished his seventh coffee on a day in late November 2001.

        I am reminded of the related situation where the defense raised is “You don’t WANT to know.” I heard that from one DOJ prosecutor from the DC Field Office who I’ve known well for a quarter century who worked with Dan Seikaly, who came over to head criminal prosecutions on September 19, 2001. And I heard that from the University of Michigan colleague of the former Zawahir associate who came to work in the BL-3 with Dr. Ivins using virulent Ames. “You don’t want to know,” they both politely said.

        Well, I do want to know. Gibbs would want to know so I want to know.

        • DXer said

          Oh, and by my training, I tend to already know the answer to the questions I
          raise. Asking the questions just sorts out the truth-tellers from the culpable.

        • DXer said

          Awlaki’s good friend and fellow Falls Church imam, Al-Timimi, was the most celebrated speaker of the Ann Arbor charity IANA. He was in active contact with one of those sheiks, who had been Ali’s religious mentor at university in Saudi Arabia.

          Al-Timimi was a current associate and former student of Bin Laden’s spiritual advisor, dissident Saudi Sheik al-Hawali. Ali Al-Timimi preached on the end of times and the inevitability of the clash of civilizations. He was in active contact with al-Hawali whose detention had been the express subject of Bin Laden’s 1996 Declaration of War. At GMU, Dr. Bailey would publish a lot of research with the “Ames strain” of anthrax. The anthrax used in the anthrax mailings was traced to Bruce Ivins’ lab at USAMRIID, where Ivins, according to a former colleague, had done some work for DARPA. Al-Timimi would speak along with the blind sheik’s son at charity conferences. The blind sheik’s son served on Al Qaeda’s WMD committee. Al-Timimi’s mentor Bilal Philips was known for recruiting members of the military to jihad. (I emailed Bilal with questions but did not hear back).

          The first week after 9/11, FBI agents questioned Al-Timimi. He was a graduate student in a program jointly run by George Mason University and the American Type Culture Collection (”ATCC”). Ali, according to his lawyer, had been questioned by an FBI agent and Secret Service agent in 1994 after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He had a high security clearance for work for the Navy in the late 1990s. The defense webpage reported he had once served as the assistant for the White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card. (Mr. Card had been Secretary of Transportation in 1992-1993; from 1993 to 1998, Mr. Card later was President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association.) As time off from his university studies permitted, Ali was an active speaker with the Ann Arbor-based charity Islamic Assembly of North America.

          The FBI science investigation has been run by the former bacteria collection scientist at ATCC collection, including its patent repository, to which Al-Timimi had unfettered access (according to a JD/PhD who was fired when she raised the question of lax security there).

          The NAS has violated FACA by withholding documents and had no ability to get from the FBI that its supervising scientists did not want produced. In addition to the scientist who was the bacteria division collection scientist, the other leading scientist was the head of the Naval biodefense program. (Ali did classified work for the Navy while at contractor SRA in 1999) with deputy USAMRIID Commander Bailey, a leading Ames researcher with whom he later shared a suite.

          The FBI has failed to produce many relevant documents from NAS that would be critical to a sound analysis of an appropriate scope and needs to be a central focus of the GAO’s investigation. The first two letters in GAO stand for “Government Accountability.”

          It may have been the conflict interest to which Amerithrax has been drowning in that may have been what prompted the head of FBI counterterrorism to write me and tell me that Amerithrax was “a mess.”

          Or it may have just been seriously dropped balls and fallacious reasoning by the investigators and AUSAs.

          I might have already mentioned that the daughter of the lawyer who came over from the CIA on September 19, 2001 to head the investigation at the US Attorney’s Office represented Al-Timimi pro bono (for free). Her family have long been Palestinian activists. See 1982 Wash Po article. I asked her and her supervisor that she recuse herself after her Dad had pled the Fifth Amendment in connection with his leaking the hyped Hatfill allegations. She failed to do so for many critical months.

        • DXer said

             Al-Timimi had supervised Cairo-based militants writing for the Pittsburgh-based Assirat and then for IANA.  One of them, Kamal Habib,  was the founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and a friend of Ayman Zawahiri.  The Cairo-based writers Kamal Habib and Gamal Sultan approached the blind sheik Abdel Rahman about starting a political party in early 1999. On March 1 and 2, 1999, Lynne Stewart and translator Yousry visited Abdel Rahman in prison in Rochester, Minnesota and relayed the proposal. On March 6, 1999, the first press reports about anthrax appeared quoting the blind sheik’s Cairo lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, and detainees in a massive trial al-Zayat was defending. He explained that Ayman likely was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate against the rendering and detention of the Egyptian militants. 

        • DXer said

          Ayman Zawahiri’s brother Muhammad was rendered to Cairo in April 1999.   Ayman Zawahiri and Muhammad’s sister, Heba, a Pharmacology Professor at Cairo Medical, were concerned that he might be mistreated by Egyptian security services. Heba and Ayman were represented by lawyer Mamdouh Ismail, Al-Zayat’s co-founder of a key reform party, in connection with Muhammad’s rendition and detention. (The attorney in recent years was indicted for being a conduit to the jihadists). A recent graduate from the same department as Heba, Tarek Hamouda, soon was working alongside Bruce Ivins with virulent Ames at Ft. Detrick. Dr. Ivins did not know he was not a citizen when he arrived.

          I’ve emailed Dr. Hamouda if I am mistaken on any of the points I raise but he hasn’t responded. His colleague says “You don’t want to know.”

          The FBI provided extensive documents about their visit to work with virulent Ames alongside Bruce Ivins. — first obtained (judging from the documents produced) in February 2005. The former Zawahiri associate thanked the scientists for providing technical assistance — they are known as Former Colleague #1 and Former Colleague #2, and are the only ones suggesting Dr. Ivins was responsible.

  20. Biologists or doctors caught up and harmed in the anthrax investigation:

    Bruce Ivins
    Dr. Kenneth Berry
    Steven Hatfill
    Perry Mikesell

    Other doctors or biologists, in a general sense, who were the object of the FBI/DOJ during the period since the anthrax attacks.

    Thomas C. Butler (plague hysteria)
    Steven Kurtz (art)
    Dr. Robert Ferrell (art)
    Dr. Cyril Wecht (medical examiner)

    If others can add to this list it would be welcome. These last 4 were all cases prosecuted by DOJ. Butler they threw the book at, going after things like which tax year he should have paid tax as a criminal matter when he had paid the tax.

    Ivins had a notation about the Butler case. The FBI noted that in its documents. A factor in Ivins committing suicide was the treatment of Butler and that the judge and jury went along with it. Ivins may have believed he would be convicted and have no chance the same way Butler was.

    These cases were intended to create fear. Its not just doctors who were the target but employees inside the FBI and DOJ, inside the government, and in academia and industry.

    DOJ and the FBI management became aware at some stage that this was fear was being created even if it was unintentional. The message to non doctors/biologists was that this could happen to you even though you are a lawyer, judge, academic, agent, staff member in Congress or whatever. These cases became a vehicle for, if not spreading fear among the white collar class intentionally, reaping the benefits of it. This includes feeling free to engage in policies or actions that they would prefer not to disclose to the public or if found out, not to investigate.

  21. DXer said

    The FBI’s anthrax expert Dr. Ezzell advises that he is in agreement with Ivins in that he knew of no plans to test dried spores in animals. “As for dried spores that his lab produced , the spores were sterilized using gamma irradiation before being freeze-dried.” The spores were to be used by DAPA to test biothreat detection systems using mass spectrometry technology. JE advises me that Ba was stored in numerous locations. In reference to the pictured statement about the unusual place one scientist noticed Ames was stored, he reports that it probably refers to storage in room 212 of Building 1412 which was one of JE’s labs. His personnel along with scientists from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics lab collected aerosolized threat agents on special tapes that fed into mass spectrometer located in Rm 212 (BL3 Lab). The refrigerator had sliding glass doors.

  22. DXer said

    Did Dr. Bruce Ivins attend his regular Red Cross meeting on September 17 one of the days the FBI says he was supposedly mailing anthrax letters in Princeton?

  23. DXer said

    In January 2003, Dr. Ivins had trouble locating an old Apple computer.

    What do Dr. Ivins’ lab assistants and colleagues say about the Apple laptop computer that turned up missing — which had been connected in the hot suite? Who used it and what was it used for in the privacy of the hot suite? Did Former Colleage #2 take it with her when she left USAMRIID?

  24. DXer said

    What was the cause of the leg lesion of the hijacker who came in June 2001 from Kandahar where Al Qaeda had an anthrax lab? In August 2001 Yazid Sufaat briefed Zawahiri and Hambali over the course of a week.

  25. DXer said
    Overview –

    Drug-Related Suicides in Maryland: Bruce Edward ivins

    Product Details

    • Pub. Date: May 2010
    • Publisher: General Books LLC
    • Format: Paperback , 22pp
    • ISBN-13: 9781156985373
    • ISBN: 1156985374

    [The $12] Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher’s book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge.

    Excerpt: Bruce Edwards Ivins (April 22, 1946 July 29, 2008) was a microbiologist, vaccinologist, senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland and a key suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks. He committed suicide prior to formal charges being filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an alleged criminal connection to the 2001 anthrax attacks. At a news conference at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on August 6, 2008, FBI and DOJ officials formally announced that the Government had concluded that Ivins was likely to have been solely responsible for “the deaths of five persons, and the injury of dozens of others, resulting from the mailings of several anonymous letters to members of Congress and members of the media in September and October, 2001, which letters contained Bacillus anthracis, commonly referred to as anthrax.” On February 19, 2010, the FBI released a 92-page summary of evidence against Ivins and announced that it had concluded its investigation. The FBI conclusions have been contested by senior microbiologists, and a panel from the National Academy of Sciences is reviewing the FBI’s scientific work on the case. Bruce Ivins was born in Lebanon, Ohio to Thomas Randall Ivins and Mary Johnson Knight, as the youngest of three sons. His father, a pharmacist, owned a drugstore and was active in the local Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce, while his mother stayed at home and participated in the Parent-Teacher Association. The family went regularly to Lebanon Presbyterian Church, although Ivins was later a Catholic parishioner. Avidly interested in science, Ivins was an active participant in extracurricular activities in high school… More:

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